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How do I check my breasts – and how often?

Once your breasts have developed, check them by looking and feeling. Do this every so often for the rest of your life.

There’s no particular way to check. Look at your breasts and feel them with any part of your hand or fingers. Check the whole breast, up to your neck and into your armpits.

A mirror can help you look at the parts you can’t see easily. You may find body lotion or a soapy hand helps when you’re feeling your breasts.

Get to know how your breasts usually look and feel. Then you will notice any unusual changes and feel more confident about going to your GP to get them checked.

If you’re over 50 (in England this will go down to 47 in the near future) and having mammograms under the NHS Breast Screening Programme, remember to check your breasts between screening appointments.

Men need to be breast aware too, as in the UK around 400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

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Content last reviewed March 2012; next planned review 2014

Last edited:

12 August 2013