How To Do BSE? Look And Feel Technique

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How to Do Breast Self-Examination (BSE)? Look and Feel Techniques

The following steps will guide you on how to perform your own Breast Self-Examination. You should take the opportunity to ask your doctor to check your technique during your next physical examination.


Remove all clothing above the waist and look at yourself in the mirror. This should be done in a well lit room.

Check your breasts in 4 positions:

Look for changes in shape, outline, colour and texture of the skin and nipple.
Check the position of the nipple and squeeze it to look for any discharge or bleeding.


Lie flat on your back with a pillow or a folded towel under the RIGHT shoulder. This allows your body to arch and the breast tissue to spread out. Use your left hand to examine your RIGHT breast while you place your RIGHT hand behind your head. The area from under the collar bone till the bra area must be examined.


Keep your fingers together and use the flat part of your 3 fingers to feel the breasts. Move your fingers in small circles about the size of a 20-cent coin.Keep your fingers together and use the flat part of your 3 fingers to feel the breasts. Move your fingers in small circles about the size of a 20-cent coin.

Press gently but firmly, feeling for lumps or thickening of tissue.

Imagine your breast as the face of a clock. Start at 12 o’clock and feel along the boundary till you return to your starting position. Move down a finger’s width and repeat in smaller circles till you reach the nipple. Push this aside and feel under and around the nipple. You may find a ridge of firm tissue under the breast. This is normal tissue that helps to support your breast.


Now move your right arm down to your side. Examine the breast tissue that extends into your armpit.


Next, place the pillow under the LEFT shoulder and using your right hand repeat the steps on your LEFT breast.

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. They do not stay the same throughout life. The monthly period, pregnancy, age and weight changes may alter the shape, size and feel of your breast.

Most changes are harmless but they need to be checked as some can be an early sign of cancer.

By doing breast self examination (BSE) once a month you become familiar with the look and feel of your own breasts. You can then recognize any changes that occur.
If you detect any changes, it is best to have it checked by a doctor. Most breast lumps are harmless. However if it is cancer, remember:

Early Detection And Prompt Medical Treatment Can Save Your Life!

Seek medical help if you notice:

  • unusual difference in size or shape
  • alteration in nipple position
  • turning in of the nipple
  • dimpling/puckering of the skin
  • unusual rash/colour on breast or skin
  • unusual discharge from the nipple
  • unusual lump or nodule on ANY part of the breast

Breast Self Examination is for Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Aunts, Cousins, Friends, and the Men in your life.

  • Examine your breasts regularly
  • Once a month is enough
  • The best time is 7-10 days from the first day of your period
  • If you are no longer menstruating, choose the same day every month
  • Also during pregnancy
Link to video on Breast Self Familiarisation:
Video courtesy of CloveTWO.com