How often should I perform breast self-exam and at what age should they start?

Answer: Breast exams should be performed once a month. The self-exam should be done the week after a woman’s period, since this is when the breast will be least swollen. Post-menopausal women should perform their self-exam the same time each month.

Exams should start as soon as the breasts are fully developed after adolescence. This will promote a good lifetime habit and allow women to become acquainted with their own breasts. If any changes occur or lumps develop they can be addressed early.