How do I perform a self-exam of my breasts lying down?


Lying down is the preferred way to do BSE. By lying down and extending the arm, the breast is "thinned out," making it easier to detect subtle changes. For women who have regular menstrual periods, the exam should be done 5-10 days after the onset of her menstrual period. This is the time when the breasts are least tender and lumpy. Ideally, a women should start doing BSE after she has been examined by a physician who states that her breast exam is normal.

The key to doing BSE with confidence is to not look for lumps. The breast is normally lumpy and the goal for BSE is for the women to have a clear mental image of her normal breast. Once she has a clear mental image of the normal and does a regular monthly exam, she is better than any doctor in detecting a change. If she does notice a change, she should report it to her physician. For more information on how to do BSE with confidence please visit:

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.