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Should I Do a Breast Self-Exam?

My aunt says I should learn to do a breast self-exam. What is this and why do I need it?
- Graciela*

Your aunt is partly right: breast self-exams ("BSE" for short) can be helpful for women. But doctors don't usually suggest them for teen girls.

There are a couple of reasons why:

It's good to get used to the way your breasts normally look and feel. A good way to do that is to try this: When you're lying down, lightly touch your breasts with your fingertips. You might be surprised at how they feel. Breasts are a complex system of ducts and tissue so you'll notice normal lumps and bumps.

At some point your twenties, your doctor will probably show you how to do a BSE. Until then, you only need to worry about your breasts if you notice these problems:

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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