Whether administered by a medical professional during an annual check-up or by yourself in the comfort of your home, breast examinations are an integral part of preventative care for all bodies with breasts. However, studies show that an alarming number of people both giving and receiving breast exams are unaware of a component that is essential for effective early detection: Someone involved in the exam must make an old-timey car horn sound any time contact with a breast is made.
Maybe this worries you because you haven’t heard it before—and certainly haven’t been doing it, or maybe you’re concerned because the only vintage horn sound you can think of is AHOOOGAH, and that’s not going to be enough to cover a thorough exam. Well, you needn’t get your mustache in a twist, old chap! Hop in our jalopy and let Bunny Ears navigate you through the unpaved road to better health.
If you’re performing an examination on yourself for the first time, practice applying varying amounts of pressure to an alternate, less sensitive part of your body with the tips of your fingers, such as the underside of the thigh or bicep so that you don’t inadvertently put the pedal to the metal on the breast. Notice how you don’t feel anything at all when you press down? That’s because, according to biologists, your body thinks it’s a waste of energy to react to a touch that’s not also accompanied by a hilarious sound.
Now, press the exact same spot with the same amount of pressure, except this time, add a nasal MUUUUURP each time your hand makes contact with flesh. Feel that? Of course you do, because this is science. Practice using light, medium, and firm pressure, each punctuated by a sharp vocal AAHT, AAHHT, or AAAHHHT, as if a sputtering carriage is blocking the brick-lined lane ahead of you and you’re growing increasingly agitated that you and Fannie Jo might be late for the picture show.
When you feel comfortable with a firm-but-gentle pressure, lie down, placing a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, take the pads of your fingers for a spin around your right breast, tooting a dandy g’day to every dame and fella in town with a sequence of short, friendly BLOOOOTs. Once you’ve hit a dead end at the armpit area, squeeze the nipple with a singular BWAHHHHHHMP and check for discharge, lumps, or a Model T Ford coming around the bend (because, wow, that honk was convincing!). Take the scenic route over to your left breast and repeat.
Should you encounter anything out of the ordinary, make sure to have it evaluated by a healthcare professional. If your doctor seems concerned about the repeated bursts of FWOOT FWOOT FWOOT you’re letting out as their fingers zip around the busy traffic circle that is your breast, then you need to pump the brakes and find a new doctor immediately. Alternatively, if your doctor cups both breasts and squeezes them in time to the chant of MEEURRRN MEEURRRN, or a similar impression of an old-timey ambulance noise, then they may have found something suspicious (and it’s good that you came in).
It’s likely that all is well under the hood, but it’s important to stick to a regular maintenance schedule when it comes to your breasts. After all, self-examinations can, in some cases, lead to life-saving treatment, and it’s only an AYOOOGA BLEEEP BLEEP away.