Breast Self-Examination (BSE) Education

The chances of women in the United States having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. Right now there are slightly over 2 million women living in the U.S. who have been treated for breast cancer. Thanks to modern treatments, most will go on to live full lives.

The key to successful treatment, however, lies in early detection, and for that, every woman must depend on regular self breast examinations. Nine out of 10 breast lumps are found by women themselves.

Eight out of every 10 breast lumps are not cancerous, but that does not lessen the need to do regular self breast examinations. At first, to find out what is normal for your breasts, and then for lifelong self protection.

Finding a lump or change in your breast does not mean you have cancer. As noted before, eight out of 10 breast lumps are not cancerous. Only your doctor can be sure. Report any change promptly. Early detection is the best defense.

Ideally, self breast examination should be done 7-10 days after the first day of your menstrual period. Your breasts are less lumpy and tender then. If you no longer have periods, your BSE can be performed at any time, as long as it is the same time each month.

Avoid being rushed when you perform the exam. Choose a date that will afford you some privacy and time.

Download our Breast Self-Examination Brochure for step-by-step instructions to perform your own screening at home.