Breast cancer and other breast problems are serious matters that can be prevented and even treated with early detection. At Women’s First Health Center, we regularly perform thorough breast exams for our patients.
Clinical Breast Exams are physical breast exams generally performed by your gynecologist during your regular medical check-ups. It is important that these exams are performed annually, starting at the age of 20 for all women, in order to improve the chances of detecting breast cancer early.
For this exam, you will be asked to undress from the waist up and will generally be provided a form of a cover. Your doctor will first observe the breasts for any changes in size or shape, or in the skin of the nipples. Next, the doctor will feel on and around the breasts for any changes from your previous exam or abnormalities such as lumps.
This is also a good time for your doctor to inform you on the proper techniques as well as what to look for when examining your own breasts, if you are unsure how to do so.
Breast Self-Exams are encouraged to be performed monthly. Start by being aware of how your breasts naturally look and feel. The simple act of occasionally looking at and feeling your breasts is all you need in order to notice any changes. If you notice any changes or feel a new lump, schedule an appointment right away.
There is no need to be alarmed; a new lump does not necessarily mean you have Breast Cancer. Other far less serious problems include cysts or infections. However, it is important to communicate your concerns with your doctor. Further testing on lumps in breasts includes a mammogram or biopsy.