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Grab Your Girls: How To Give Yourself A Breast Exam

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at URI chapter.

According to BreastCancer.org, “One in eight U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer throughout her lifetime.”  Early detection is key, and, since most of us are guilty of grabbing our girls out of boredom, why not do it for a greater good?  It is important for you to know what your breasts look like normally, that way you can quickly recognize anything abnormal. Here are the easy steps to get a feel for what’s going on in your body: 1.  Get an eye full

Stand up straight in front of your mirror with your arms down at your sides.  Look for any abnormal coloring, swelling, dimpling, nipple position/fluid discharge etc.  

2.  Put ’em up

Now look for the same changes with your arms raised above your head.

3.  Lay Down

This spreads your breast tissue evenly along your chest wall.  Place a pillow under your right shoulder for a little extra comfort.

4.  One at a time

Place your right arm above your head, using your left hand to feel for anything funny–lumps, bumps or knots.

5.  Charting Territory 

You should cover the entire breast region–which means more than just the fun part everyone loves to grab a handful of–from your collar bone to the top of your abdomen.

6.  Feel good, real good

Move your fingertips in small, circular motions, about the size of a quarter, around your entire breast region (see step 5).  Keep your fingers together while using light, medium and firm pressure.  Develop a pattern to be sure you don’t miss a spot.  Some people move up and down, following a “lawn mowing” pattern.  You can also use a circular motion starting at your outer breast and working your way inward, or you can try a wedge technique, starting at your nipple and stemming outwards like sun rays.  Do whatever works for you!

7. Pat yourself on the back

This won’t help you detect anything, but you deserve it after completing steps 1-6!  Good job, girl, your lovely lady lumps thank you!  

For more information check out www.breastcancer.org! 
URI Her Campus President, Campus Correspondent & Editor in Chief! Jersey Girl. Public Relations & Communication Studies double major. Class of 2O17. Usually at the beach, probably petting the closest dog.