Breast Self-Exam: Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast Self-Exam: Prevent Breast Cancer

What is a breast self-exam?

A breast self-exam is an important way for women to monitor their breast health and detect any changes that may be a sign of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer in Ireland Statistics

  • According to the National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI), breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.
  • Doctors diagnose approximately 3,700 women with breast cancer each year.
  • Doctors diagnose approximately 30 men with breast cancer in Ireland each year.
  • Breast Cancer accounts for 29% of all cancers diagnosed in women.
  • The incidence rate of breast cancer in Ireland is 185 per 100,000 women.
  • Breast cancer is diagnosed on average at 62 years old.
  • The five-year survival rate for breast cancer in Ireland is approximately 85%.

It is important to regularly perform breast self-exams.

Pink breast cancer ribbon
Pink breast cancer ribbon


Breast self-exam steps:

  1. Begin by standing in front of a mirror with your arms at your sides. Look for any changes in the size, shape or contour of your breasts, as well as any changes in the skin texture or colour, such as dimpling , puckering or redness.
  2. Next, raise your arms overhead and look for the same changes as above.
  3. With one arm raised, use the opposite hand to examine the breast and armpit area. Use the tips of your fingers to feel for any lumps or thickening in the breast tissue, starting at the outer edge and working inwards in circular motions.
  4. Repeat step 3 with the other breast and armpit.
  5. Finally, lie down and repeat the exam with one arm raised, using the opposite hand to examine the breast and armpit area. Repeat with the other breast.
Breast self-exam steps
Steps to a breast self-exam


However, it is also important to remember that breast self-exams are not substitute for regular mammograms and clinical breast exams. It is important to note that women should contact their healthcare provider if they notice any changes or abnormalities in their breasts.