Breast self-exams should always include a visual inspection, with and without a mirror, to note any changes in contour, texture, or color of the breast and nipple. Next, a manual inspection while standing or lying down should be done to note any unusual lumps or thicknesses and check for discharge.
John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.