How to Take a Picture of Your Breasts for Your Healthcare Provider

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Time to Read: About 3 minutes

This information will help you take a picture of the wound or incision (surgical cut) on your breast(s) to show your healthcare provider. Sending a clear picture will help them see how you’re healing or if there are any problems with the area.

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Take the picture

Figure 1. Picture of the front of both breasts

Figure 1. Picture of the front of both breasts

This picture should show the front of both breasts. It should include your shoulders down to just above your belly button (see Figure 1). You may need to have someone take the picture for you.

To take the picture:

  • Stand in front of a clean, solid-colored background, such as a wall or door.
  • Stand about 2 feet (0.6 meters) away from the camera.
  • Position your phone or camera so the picture will be wider than it is tall. This is called a horizontal picture.
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Tips for Taking Pictures

The tips in this section will help you take better pictures to share with your healthcare provider.

It’s best to take the pictures in the same place with the same lighting and background each time. This helps your healthcare provider compare them to one another.

Set up the background

Make sure there’s no clutter in the background of your picture. A solid-color background will make your pictures clearer. If you don’t have solid-color background, hang a solid-color bed sheet or cloth and use it as a background for your pictures.

Plan the lighting

  • Turn on the flash on your camera or phone. The flash will give you the light you need.
  • Make sure light is shining directly on the area you’re taking a picture of. If something is in the way of the light, it can cause shadows in the picture. Make sure there aren’t any shadows on your breasts.

Take the picture

  • Point the camera directly at the area you’re taking a picture of.
  • Hold the camera still while taking the picture.
  • If you’re using your phone, look at the area you’re taking a picture of on the screen. Tap the screen to make your camera focus.
  • When you’re ready, take the pictures. Remember to take all the views your healthcare provider asked for.
  • Check each picture to make sure it’s clear. If any of your pictures look blurry or don’t show the right area, take that picture again. Don’t edit the picture.
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Send Your Picture Using MyMSK

You can send your picture to your healthcare provider using MyMSK (MSK’s patient portal). The messages you send using MyMSK are encrypted. That means no one but your MSK care team can see them.

If you don’t have a MyMSK account, visit my.mskcc.org, call 646-227-2593, or call your doctor’s office for an enrollment ID to sign up. For more information, watch the video How to Enroll in MyMSK: Memorial Sloan Kettering's Patient Portal.

Using the MyMSK app

To send pictures using the MyMSK app on your smartphone or tablet:

  1. Make sure your pictures are saved on your smartphone or tablet.
  2. Tap the MyMSK app icon. Log in to your MyMSK account.
  3. Tap “Messages” at the bottom of your screen.
  4. Tap “New” in the upper right corner of your screen. Choose “General Office Communication.” If your care team told you to use a different message type, choose that one instead.
  5. Tap “To (Office of).” Choose your doctor’s name.
  6. Tap “Subject.” Choose “Questions about my treatment.” If your care team told you to use a different subject, choose that one instead.
  7. Tap the “+” icon next to “Add an Attachment.” Choose “Photo.” Tap the photos to attach to your message. Tap “Done” in the upper right corner of your screen.
    • MyMSK only lets you send a certain number of pictures at a time. You may need to send more than one message to share them all with your healthcare provider.
  8. In the text box, write a message to your healthcare provider. When your message is ready, tap the paper airplane symbol in the upper right corner of your screen.

Using the MyMSK website

To send the pictures using MyMSK on your computer:

  1. Save your pictures to your computer. One way to do this is to use your phone to email the pictures to yourself, open the email on your computer, and save the pictures.
  2. Open your internet browser. Type in my.mskcc.org and log in to your MyMSK account.
  3. Find the Messages area on your homepage. Click “New Message.”
  4. In the Compose New Message menu, click “Ask a general question.” If your care team told you to use a different message type, choose that one instead.
  5. Click “Type or select physician’s name.” Choose your healthcare provider.
  6. Click “Subject.” Choose “Questions about my Treatment.” If your care team told you to use a different subject, choose that one instead.
  7. In the text box, write a message to your healthcare provider.
  8. Click “Add attachment(s)” under the text box. Open the folder where your picture is saved and click on your picture. Then click the “Open” button. Repeat this step for each picture.
    • MyMSK only lets you send a certain number of pictures at a time. You may need to send more than one message to share them all with your healthcare provider.
  9. When your message is ready, click the “Send” button.
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