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:
Breast problems like cancer are extremely rare in teen girls. If your doctor is worried about your breast health, he or she will do a breast exam and keep an eye on you through regular office visits.
Your breasts are still growing and changing. The reason women do breast self-exams is to learn what's normal for their breasts. But during the teen years, what's "normal" can change based on where a girl is in her development. To make things more confusing, your breasts can feel different depending on where you are in your . If you've been getting your period for a while, you might notice that they feel tender or swollen just before or during your period.
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:
pain in your breast that isn't related to your period