Pop Quiz: Test your knowledge of a breast cancer self-exam

 Be Confident that You Can Properly Perform a Self-Exam for Breast Cancer with this Short Pop Quiz

The statistics show the proof! Performing regular self-exams on your breasts can lead to early diagnosis of breast cancer in women, according to research from John Hopkins Medical Center. So, what is part of a successful self-examination and what are symptoms to look for? Take our quiz and determine if your routine fulfills all precautions or if it needs to be changed to potentially save your life.

1) How many times a month should a woman perform a self-exam?

  1. Once a month
  2. Twice every quarter
  3. Once a year
  4. Three times per year

2) True or false: Breasts are not supposed to be lumpy.
3) What steps should you do in a routine breast self-exam?

  1. Look at your breasts’ size, shape, color and discharge in the mirror.
  2. Raise arms overhead and check for any changes in your breasts.
  3. Lie down and feel each breast in circular motion; left hand to right breast, and right hand to left breast.
  4. Check breasts while standing up or sitting down, even if in the shower.
  5. All of the Above.

4) How should one perform an exam on their breasts?

  1. Lightly touching the breast with one finger in no particular motion.
  2. Use firm touch with first few fingers, flat and together, and move fingers in circular motion.
  3. Moving fingers from top to bottom and side to side of each breast.
  4. Use whole hand and lightly squeeze each breast.

5) True or False: Women should only check the breast itself when performing a self-exam.
6) What other symptoms should women look for while checking her breasts for lumps?

  1. Nipple tenderness and/or if the nipple has turned inward or become inverted.
  2. Change in shape or size of breast, with any unexplained shrinking of the breast.
  3. Redness, swelling, enlarged pores or a scaly texture (similar to orange peel) on skin of breast, nipple and/or areola.
  4. Discharge from nipple (clear, milky, bloody).
  5. All of the Above.

7) What are some other ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer besides routine self-exams?

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight.
  2. Have clinical breast exams starting at age 20 and mammograms starting at age 40.
  3. Breastfeeding, if possible, after giving birth.
  4. Cutting down use of menopausal hormone therapy.
  5. All of the Above.


Answer 1: A) Once a month. As stated by the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc., checking each breast at least once a month will determine if any changes have occurred.

Answer 2: False. It is normal for breast to be lumpy as the tissue in the breast can have a bumpy feel, which is different for each woman. If the texture has changed since your last examination, it would be a good idea to visit your local gynecologist.

Answer 3: E) All of the Above. These tips, as presented at www.breastcancer.org, are simple steps to add to your monthly self-exam to ensure that your breasts are checked regularly.

Answer 4: B) and C). These motions will allow a woman to cover every area of her breast and identify any suspicious lumps to be felt as the tissue is moved in circular motion.

Answer 5: False. Women are encouraged, as stated at www.breastcancer.org, to not only check their entire breast from all areas, but also check from armpit to cleavage and collarbone to top of abdomen for any symptoms or abnormalities.

Answer 6: E) All of the Above. These symptoms are common telltale signs that there is a health abnormality in one or both of the breasts and an immediate visit with your gynecologist may be necessary. Also seek emergency medical attention if the lump is painful and/or unusually warm.

Answer 7: E) All of the Above. Taking these precautionary steps helps to keep yourself in the know when it comes to your breast health, while also encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Information provided by Susan G. Komen official website.




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