For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

A breast self-exam is an important step in possibly detecting breast cancer early on, which provides a person with a stronger chance of a successful treatment. Self-exams should be performed monthly to allow a woman to be more familiar with what her breasts feel like.

How to Perform a Breast Self-Exam in Five Steps

  • Step 1
    With your shoulders straight and arms on your hips, examine your breasts in a mirror for unusual marks, changed positions and redness.
  • Step 2
    Raise your arms and look for the same changes.
  • Step 3
    While still at the mirror, look for any type of leakage.
  • Step 4
    Lie down and use your opposite hands to feel each entire breast, from cleavage to armpit, for anything unusual.
  • Step 5
    While standing again, feel your breasts, just as you did in step 4, for anything unusual.

If You Feel Something Suspicious

It's important to know your breasts so you can recognize when something doesn't feel or look right. Don't panic immediately if you do feel something unusual. Instead, make an appointment to have your breasts checked out by a specialist. Only 20% of women who have had a suspicious lump turned out to have breast cancer, per

Drexel Cancer Care

Drexel Cancer Care utilizes the latest medical breakthroughs to treat all forms of cancer, including breast cancer. Our specialists are located centrally in Philadelphia, offering patients easy access to advanced cancer care, and are committed to providing patients with compassionate, comprehensive cancer treatment.

Drexel Cancer Care also provides patients with access to numerous support groups. These groups are offered free of charge to patients, families and caregivers.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

 Back to Top

Find a Doctor

Last Name


How May We Help?