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So you don't freak at the feel of a random lump (which are totally normal thanks to fluctuating levels of hormones), keep your self-exams consistent. The most effective time to exam your breasts is three to five days after your period starts, when they are not as tender or lumpy. Gone through menopause? Just make sure to do the exam on the same day each month. Examine your breasts -- using your middle fingers -- lying down, sitting, and looking in a mirror so that you can check for changes in all of your breast tissue. Pressed for time? Give yourself a quick check when you're in the shower.