Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Self-Exam
Information Line: 1-800-854-3002
What is the purpose of the Breast Self-Exam?
To become familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts. Knowing your normal look and feel will help you recognize any changes that may signal breast cancer (such as lumps or thickening).
Who should perform the exam?
All women over age 20 should perform a regular breast self-exam once a month,
including those with breast implants.
Is the self exam difficult or painful?
No, the Aware Breast Self-Exam Pad is intended to be used as an aid in performing a routine
breast self-examination, it simply reduces friction between hand/fingers and breast.’
When should I perform a breast self-exam?
Once a month, three to five days after your menstrual cycle ends. If you no longer have a menstrual cycle, perform the exam on the same day of each month.
What should I do if I find a lump?
See your doctor if you discover any changes in your breast. Changes that should be checked by a doctor include:
– An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast
– Lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through your menstrual cycle
– A change in the size, shaper, or contour of the breast
– A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea
– A marble-like area under the skin
– A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple
(dimpled, puckered, scaly or inflamed)
– Bloody or clear fluid discharge from the nipples
– Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple
If I find a breast change during the exam, does it mean I have cancer?
Not necessarily, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. You should contact your physician as soon as possible to discover the reason for the change.
If I do not find a breast change during the exam, does that mean I don’t have cancer?
Not necessarily. The test should be repeated every month. Women who perform regular breast self-exams find 90% of all breast masses.
What are the chances of survival for someone with breast cancer?
Survival rates are as high as 97% when detected early. That’s why performing this exam regularly is so important.