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Primary Healthcare
General Dentistry Services
Women's Health Services
Breast Cancer Prevention
Cervical Cancer Prevention
Family Pact (FPACT)

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Breast Cancer Prevention

  1. Lie down and place your right arm behind your head. The exam is done while lying down, not standing up. This is because when lying down the breast tissue spreads evenly over the chest wall and is as thin as possible, making it much easier to feel all the breast tissue.

  2. Use the finger pads of the 3 middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps in the right breast. Use overlapping dim-sized circular motions of the finger pads to feel the breast tissue.

  4. Move around the breast in an up-and-down pattern starting at an imaginary line drawn straight down your side from the underarm and moving across the breast to the middle of the chest bone (sternum or breastbone). Be sure to check the entire breast area going down until you feel only ribs and up to the neck or collar bone (clavicle).
    • There is some evidence to suggest that the up-and-down pattern (sometimes called the vertical pattern) is the most effective pattern for covering the entire breast, without missing any breast tissue.
    • Repeat the exam on your left breast, using the finger pads of the right hand.

  5. While standing in front of a mirror with your hands pressing firmly down on your hips, look at your breasts for any changes of size, shape, contour, or dimpling, or redness of the nipple or breast skin. (The pressing down on the hips position contracts the chest wall muscles and enhances any breast changes.)

  6. Examine each underarm while sitting up, or standing, with your arm only slightly raised so you can easily feel in this area. Do not raise your arm straight up; doing so tightens the tissue in this area and makes it harder to examine.



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