It is commonly advised that women are taught how to check their breasts for lumps and perform this easy procedure every month. Women who are still menstruating should do this after their period has just finished.
The first step in breast self examination (BSE) is inspecting the breasts in a mirror, with the arms at the sides and then raised above the head. Women should get to know the shape and size of their breasts and note any changes that occur.
The next step is to lie down, with one hand behind the head, examine the opposite breast with the free hand. This should be done by resting the hand flat on the chest below the breast and then creeping the fingers up over the breast by one finger breadth at a time. Do this twice, once over the inside half of the breast and then over the outside half. Check under the nipple with the fingertips and finally check the armpit for lumps. Repeat the procedure on the other breast.