According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc., taking a few minutes to do a breast self-exam a minimum of once a month can make a lifetime of difference. Nearly 70% of all breast cancers are found through self-exams and with early detection the 5-year survival rate is 98%. If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don't panic—8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous.
For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.
Remember: It's best to check about a week after your period, when breasts are not swollen or tender.
If you no longer have a period, examine yourself on the same day every month.