Circuelle Foundation
Circuelle Foundation
Circuelle Foundation

The Circuelle Guide

to Breast Self-Examination

The ideal time to examine your breasts is when they are not swollen or tender. This is typically one week after menstruation. For comparison, and a better understanding of how your breasts change over the month, conduct another self-exam two weeks later. Women who are no longer menstruating may find it helpful to remember their self-exam date by selecting something as easy as the first day of the month.

Circuelle Breast Self-Examination Guide

Step by Step

  • Raise one arm, dropping it behind your head.
  • With your opposite hand, hold your middle three fingers together.
  • Using the pads of your fingers, feel for any unusual lump or mass on the breast next to the raised arm.
  • Look at your breasts for any change in size, shape, contour, swelling or dimpling.
  • Check for any nipple discharge other than breast milk.
  • With your arm slightly raised, examine your underarm for any lump or swelling.
  • Examine the entire breast area by making overlapping dime-size circular motions.
  • Pay special attention to the area from the collarbone to the bottom of the rib cage, and from the armpit to the middle of the chest.

Patterns

Vertical Lines

VERTICAL LINES Starting in the underarm, begin making small circles as you travel in a straight line down to below the breast. The next line should be right next to the first, moving upwards. Continue until the entire breast has been examined.

Wedges

WEDGES Starting at the outer edge, move your fingers in towards the nipple and then back out to the edge. Check the entire breast area, one wedge shape at a time, moving in and out until complete.

Circles

CIRCLES Beginning at the outer breast area, move your fingers around your breast in a circle. Continue examining in smaller and smaller circles, working towards the nipple, until the entire breast area has been checked.

Pressure

Light

LIGHT PRESSURE
examines tissue closest to the skin.

Medium

MEDIUM PRESSURE
allows you to feel a little deeper.

Firm

FIRM PRESSURE
should help you feel tissue closest to the chest and ribs.

Finding Your Place


SHOWER OR BATH

SHOWER OR BATH

The most common method of self-exam is in the shower or bath. Be sure that you are not directly under the shower spray or immersed in water. Warm water combined with soap or a moisturizing creme will help your hand glide seamlessly across your skin without interruption, creating the touch sensation of feeling underneath your skin rather than the surface.

USING A MIRROR

USING A MIRROR

Looking in a mirror can give help you notice any changes in your breasts. Look at their size, shape, contour, taking notice of swelling, dimpling and/or redness. For a clearer look, you can contract the chest wall muscles by placing your hands on your hips and pressing down firmly. For the full “picture,” look at the mirror facing forward, and with your left and right profile as well as your underarm.

LYING DOWN

LYING DOWN

Self-exam can also be performed lying on a bed or other flat surface. With this method, the breast tissue spreads evenly and thinly over the chest wall, making it easy to feel all the breast tissue.

Helpful Hint: A moisturizing creme can help you facilitate your exam by allowing your fingers to move seamlessly and evenly across skin, while helping you feel underneath the skin, rather than the surface.

Your health professional will be happy to review your self-exam technique and offer helpful pointers. Please, don't hesitate to ask.

IF YOU DISCOVER A LUMP OR SOMETHING UNUSUAL
Do not panic. Contact your health professional without delay. Remember: most lumps found in the breast area are benign The best way to proceed is to act promptly and have any irregularities evaluated by a doctor well versed in diagnosing breast issues.

Get in touch

Contact us

info@circuellefoundation.org
855.523.7465
1680 Fruitville Road
Suite #403
Sarasota, FL 34236

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Copyright © 2019 Circuelle Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Circuelle Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to educate women about breast health and increase breast awareness through healthy rituals.
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