GREENSBORO, N.C. — One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, that's why it's so important to do self-breast exams and get mammograms. 

Jennifer Burns, MSN, AGNP-C is an Adult Nurse Practitioner, Oncology and Hematology at Cone Health. She talked on Wednesday about breast cancer and prevention.

HOW TO DO A BREAST SELF-EXAM

1) IN THE SHOWER

Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center, checking the entire breast and armpit area.

Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider. 

2) IN FRONT OF A MIRROR

Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.

Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women's breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

3) LYING DOWN

When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.
Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

MORE ABOUT JENNNIFER BURNS

Jennifer Burns, MSN, AGNP-C, is a board-certified adult nurse practitioner. She specializes in hematology and oncology, including gynecologic oncology. Jennifer never wants patients to feel alone, and she takes time to answer questions, provide healthcare information and share resources with her patients and their families. Her professional interests include symptom management, chemotherapy care, and survivorship. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys running, CrossFit, traveling and making memories with her two daughters and husband.

For more information on Cone Health’s Breast Cancer services, click here.

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