While breast self-exams are no longer officially a recommendation from the American Cancer Society, it’s important to know your breasts.
- How do they normally feel?
- How are they normally shaped?
- If you feel pain, does it come and go each month around the same time as your menstrual cycle? Or is it constant and always in the same place?
It’s important to know your body – all parts of your body, including your breasts. If you know your own body, you will know when something doesn’t seem right.
If you develop any of the following symptoms of breast cancer, report it to your doctor as soon as possible:
- Breast Lump
- Skin dimpling or skin looking like an orange peel
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Nipple/areola skin that is red, dry, flaking or thickened
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk (bloody or clear like water)
- Swollen lymph nodes (under the arm or around the collar bone – these can sometimes be felt even before the original tumor in the breast)
- Swelling of the breast (even if no pain)
- Breast or nipple pain which persists in one pinpoint spot and never goes away, especially if associated with a breast lump