In general, all men, especially those over the age of 60 and the men that exhibit increased risks of developing breast cancer can minimize the potential for metastasis with early detection by routinely performing a male breast exam (MBSE).  A monthly self-screening is strongly recommended.

  1. Set Aside A Date Every Month To Perform Your Male Breast Cancer Exam

By scheduling a monthly date on your calendar to perform your MBSE, it is easier to remember when the screening is due.  This allows for easier detection of any normal vs. abnormal breast changes.

  1. Perform Your Own MBSE In A Shower/Bath

Start by running warm water in the shower.  Lather the breast area with either soap or shower gel to generate a soapy, slippery layer on the breast. This allows for an easier examination of the breast by allowing the fingers to slide easily over the skin without any rubbing.

  1. Examine The Texture Of Your Breast

Begin your MBSE by raising your left arm up above your head and rest your left hand on the back of your neck.  


Drawing courtsey of Pam Stephan

Using your right hand, place your index, middle and ring finger together and use these 3 fingers to examine the texture of the left breast. Start by placing the 3 fingers flat on the skin at the outer edge of the left breast.  Press down on the 3 fingers and slowly move the fingers in small circles around the entire left breast.

  1. Check Your Nipple

Using your index and ring fingers on the right hand, gently squeeze the left nipple


Drawing courtsey of Pam Stephan

between the fingers and examine any signs of discharge, retraction (drawing inwards towards the body) or puckering of the nipple.

  1. Check Both Sides

To perform your MBSE on the right breast, reverse your hands and repeat the procedures outlined in steps 3 and 4.

  1. Visual Assessment

To complete your MBSE, rinse the breast off and towel dry. Using a mirror large enough to view both breasts simultaneously, examine them for asymmetry.  Be aware of any changes in the skin of the nipple such as a rash, skin puckering and/or dimpling.

  1. What To Do If A Lump Is Found

    It is not uncommon to find lumps in male breasts.  Many of these lumps are benign conditions due to gynecomastia (an overgrowth of glandular tissue in the male breast).  Additionally, approximately 80% of alll lumps found in male breasts are benign.  However, if you notice any visual or physical change in your breasts, contact your doctor immediately to schedule a clinical examination.  As found in female breast cancer, early detection is the key to survival.