• Start by standing in front of a mirror. Use the pads of your fingers (where your fingerprints are) of your three middle fingers on your right hand pressed together flat to check your left breast, and do the opposite for the right breast.

  • When examining your breasts, you should always be using a circular rubbing motion (in dime-sized circles) without lifting up your fingers using one of three patterns of rubbing: Spiral (concentric circles), Pie shape wedge, or Up and down.

  • You should press on your breast with varying degrees of pressure: light (move the skin without moving the tissue underneath) medium (midway into the tissue), and hard (down to the ribs "on the verge of pain").

  • Examine the following areas: 1) The breast itself; 2) Between the breast and underarm; 3) The underarm itself; and 4) The area above the breast up to the collarbone and across to your shoulder.

  • Once you've performed the tactile examination while standing up in front of a mirror, you should do the whole examination again, this time while lying down. Put your left arm behind your head and use your right hand to examine your left breast. Put a small pillow or towel under your left shoulder to aid you. Switch for the other breast

  • Consider using a B-D Sensibility Breast Self-Examination Pad. These pads supposedly help your fingers "glide" over the breast more easily, and are more comfortable. Some women prefer them, and some don't. It currently costs about $27 for a box.

  • You can get a free BSE shower card from the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW perform a breast self-examination?