The woman is asked to lie down and is told that the breast will next be palpated. The examiner stands at the right side of the patient's bed. Although the examiner can usually palpate each breast from the patient's right side, it is often better with large-breasted women to examine the left breast from the left side.

The breast is best palpated by allowing it to lie evenly distributed over the chest wall. Small-breasted women may lie with their arms at their sides;larger breasted women should be instructed to place their hands behind their head. A pillow placed beneath the shoulder on the side being examined facilitates the examination.

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