PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 01: A pink 25-foot ribbon scupture made up of Aerie bras is on display outside of Heinz Field as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens on October 1, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the month of October, we want to be able to share some tips and facts regarding breast cancer to help all of you out there. One of the key things when it comes to your health is self-examination. Sometimes self-examinations in between your mammograms and doctor’s appointments can help you catch things in their early stages. You want to be able to monitor your breasts yourself to determine any changes or things you may notice over time.

Premier Health created a guide of 5 easy steps to help you perform breast self-examinations at home. It is recommended that women in their 20s and 30s get clinical breast examinations every three years. On the other hand, women 40 and older should get them every year. In between those clinical examinations, self-examinations can help protect you.

Premier Health 5 Steps for Breast Self-Examinations 

  1. Stand in front of a mirror that is large enough to check your breasts clearly. Check for any unusual markings or feelings. Feel around for puckering, dimpling, or scaliness. Also be sure to search for any discharge from your nipples.
  2. While clasping your hands behind your head, press them forward, and examine what you see in the mirror.
  3. Stand with your hands on your hips and bend slightly forward. Look in the mirror to see any shape changing of your breasts.
  4. Squeeze your nipple gently and look for any fluids that may leak. If there is any nipple discharge, be sure to see your doctor.
  5. Lie flat on your back, lift one arm over your head, and use the other to begin examining the breasts. Rub around to feel for any lumps or odd feelings.

Conducting a breast self examination can help you prevent further damage to your breasts and health. If you have any questions or concerns, call your doctor immediately. See the full explanation on breast self examinations with Premier Health here.