Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
self-breast examination (SBE)
a procedure in which a woman examines her breasts and their accessory structures for evidence of change that could indicate a malignant process. The SBE is usually performed 1 week to 10 days after the first day of the menstrual cycle, when the breasts are smallest and cyclic nodularity is least apparent. Self-examination is encouraged during all phases of a woman's adult life; a woman who regularly and carefully performs the examination is better able to detect small abnormalities than is a woman who is not familiar with her own breasts. The techniques are similar to those of the examination of the breast as performed in the health assessment or physical examination. Also called breast self-examination (BSE). See also breast examination.