A breast self-exam is used in order to attempt to detect any abnormalities that could be a sign of breast cancer. Feeling each breast in specific motions attempting to feel for any bumps, lumps or swelling on a regular basis helps catch cancer in the early stages when it does surface in someone, leading to a better chance of beating it.
Your breasts are the least tender or swollen directly following your period. Make a habit of performing your breast self exam monthly at this time. If your periods are not regular, examine your breast on the same date each month so that you will remember.
If you are more comfortable in the warm water of the shower, allow your hand to glide over the exam area using the soap as a lubricant.
A new lump, which may or may not be tender or painful. Unusual thickening or change in size of one breast. Sticky or bloody discharge from a nipple. Puckering or dimpling of the nipple.