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Health Tip: Breast Self-Exams

They can help detect cancer early

(HealthDay News) -- Women should examine their breasts regularly to detect lumps or abnormalities that could signal breast cancer. An exam should be done once a month, several days after the last day of a woman's period.

Here are the five basic steps to a breast self-exam, courtesy of

  • Standing with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips, face a mirror. Look for any differences in size, shape, color, swelling or bulging of the skin, changes in the nipple, or any signs of redness or rash.
  • Raise your arms, and examine your breasts for any of those differences.
  • Gently squeeze each nipple to check for any discharge.
  • Lie down, and feel each breast with the hand of the opposite arm. Feel all the tissue, applying pressure to check deep tissue for any lumps or abnormalities.
  • Examine the breasts while you are standing or sitting, gently examining the entire breast. You may want to try this method in the shower, while the skin is slippery.
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