It's the first Friday of the month, that time when I remind everybody to do a Self Breast Exam. Feel 'em up folks!
For what it's worth, men can get breast cancer too, so hey, go for it guys, poke around a bit, ok?
OK, so like I mentioned before, with each months reminder I'm trying to add some additional health info. This month (at the request of a commenter) I'm taking on doing SBEs when lactating. Obviously lactation (while reducing the likelihood of future breast cancer) leaves the breasts full of milk, which makes it harder to feel lumps.
The short and simple answer can be found at Breastfeeding123, which recommends doing the self-exams immediately after nursing, so that the breast will be as un-full as possible.
MamaKnowsBreast (Oct 4 entry) agrees that it's good to continue to do self exams when breastfeeding, although there is a good chance that you'll notice tissue changes which are not cancerous. Everyday Health comments that if you have not previously been doing SBEs, then pregnancy or lactating may not be great times to start because your breasts are going through so many changes. On the other hand, if you already have the habit, then it's a good thing to continue.
My own thought is that SBEs could be helpful with those non-cancerous changes too though--for example if you are familiar with the 'normal' feel of your breasts, then if you get a plugged duct you'll be able to quickly recognize the abnormality and address the issue... For the same reason, I think it makes sense for lactating women to do at least 'quick once-over' type exams in the shower on a more frequent basis.
This article is packed with information about breast health during pregnancy and lactation. (Incidentally, you should never have a mammogram while lactating.)
Here are directions for doing a SBE when you are lactating.