How to self-check for breast cancer symptoms?


Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-check at least once a month. You don’t need to use a special technique, but ensure you look at and feel your breasts regularly. 

Common symptoms:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

A breast is made up of three main parts: lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. Breast cancer can spread outside the breast through blood vessels and lymph vessels. Make sure to check all parts of your breast, your armpit, and up to your collarbone.

In the Shower

With the pads of your 3 middle fingers, check the entire breast and armpit area pressing down with light, medium, and firm pressure. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, hardened knot, or any other breast changes.

In Front of a Mirror

Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead. Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples.

Lying Down

When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Using your hand, move the pads of your fingers around your breast gently covering the entire breast area and armpit.

Seek for a GP’s advice

Pain in your breast is not usually a symptom of breast cancer. In fact, many healthy women find their breasts feel lumpy and tender before their period, and some benign breast lumps can be painful. However, if you are concerned about any symptoms, go to see a general practitioner right away. Early detection of breast cancer means there’s a better chance of recovery.