The Amazon Breast Support Group

Working for Breast Cancer Patients at King’s Mill Hospital

7 Quick Steps for Monthly Self Examination
7 Steps

Breast self examination is a simple technique to learn and takes only about ten minutes. Choose a day each month that will be easy for you to remember, such as the first or last day of the month.

It’s best to use the fingertips of your three middle fingers to examine your breast. Always use your left hands for your right breast and vice versa. Use both a circular motion and a vertical (up and down) motion to examine your breasts.

Check for any lumps, hard knots, swelling, dimpling or thickening. Also observe for abnormal change in size, shape, colour or discharge.

In Front of a Mirror


1. Visually check both breasts with your arms at your sides.

2. Slowly raise your arms, whilst paying close attention for any swelling or change in your breasts or nipples.

3. With hands on hips, lean slightly forward and flex your chest muscles, again checking for any changes

In the Shower


4. Extend your right arm upward and examine your right breast.

5. Extend your left arm upwards and examine your left breast.

Lying Down


6. Place a pillow under your right shoulder. Put your right arm behind your head, then examine your right breast and armpit.

7. Place a pillow under your left shoulder. Put your left arm behind your head, then examine your left breast and left armpit.

Follow this routine monthly, so you become familiar with the normal feel and appearance of your breasts and make breast examination a regular part of your good health routine.

General Terms Used in the Treatement of Breast Cancer

Clinical and scientific words are used daily to describe the treatment of breast cancer. In this section we have tried to highlight some of the most common terms used in the treatment of breast cancer.

Breast Screening

Breast screening is a method of detecting breast cancer at a very early stage. The first step involves a x-ray of each breast (a mammogram). The mammogram can detect small changes in breast tissue which may indicate cancers which are too small to be felt either by the woman herself or by a doctor.

A Mammogram

The mammogram is a low dose x-ray Each breast is placed in turn on the x-ray machine and gently but firmly compressed with a clear plate. Compression is needed to keep the breast still and to get the clearest picture with the lowest amount of radiation as possible.


Some women may be asked to go to an assessment clinic for further investigation, either for technical reasons or because a potential abnormality was detected. Fine needle for laboratory analysis cytology may be carried out in which a consultant draws off some breast cells or fluid through a very fine needle for laboratory analysis.

Core biopsy

A core biopsy allows some of the breast tissue to be removed and taken away for further analysis.

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