Let’s talk tatas! How exactly should you perform a self breast exam?

Yesterday was Daffodil Day, an important day where everyone bands together in a fight against cancer.

It seems like an easy way to boast awareness, wearing a bright yellow flower on your coat, right? 

Well as helpful as those donations are to cancer research, we should also be helping ourselves. 

According to Breast Cancer Ireland, 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer in the course of their lifetime.

This brings us on to the discussion of checking our breasts – has to be done. 

We know we should do it, an a lot of us do, but do we do it correctly? 

Usually I just have a poke around, and decide I'm perfectly fine, and very quickly move on with my life. 

But there is a knack to checking your boobs, a knack we really all need to learn. 

There are 5 simple steps:

1. Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

What are you looking for here? If you notice any of the following, you should consider going for a breast screening: Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin, a nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out) or redness, soreness, rash, or swelling. 

2. Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

3. While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).

4. Now, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.

Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side, all the way from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

5.  Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.