4 things you didn’t know about examining your breasts

When I teach medical students how to do a breast exam, it always amazes me that even the women, who can practice at will, don’t know the borders of the breast.  So a quick and easy tutorial about breast exams in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

1. The breast starts at the breast bone.  You need to examine all the way across the midline of the sternum.

2. It continues down to the rib cage.  You should examine until you feel nothing but bones.  I know some of you reach this point sooner than others.  I used to pretty much reach that point as soon as I touched the breast, until menopause and wine gave me something to work with.

3.  You have to go all the way up into the armpit.  Dig deep into the groove of the muscle at the front of the pit.  Feel for bumps (nodes).  It doesn’t matter how ticklish you are.  Can you even tickle yourself?

4. Continue all the way to the collarbone.  Feel for nodules and lumps under the edge.

Well, at least he’s trying to learn something


Sternum, Ribs, Armpit, Collarbone.  4 easy borders to a complete self-exam.


About womanmdsguide

My name is Dr. Kristen Cain and I'm an infertility doctor with a passion for women's wellness and having the time to live life to its fullest. I write about women's health issues and time management secrets for young professional women because a good life means having the health and time to enjoy it!
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