The goal of breast examination is to detect if the mammary gland is affected by the cancer virus. These are usually screening methods. These exams are heavily affective in finding cancer at a curable stage but has failed to prevent death.
This is an effective measure in finding cancer cells in the early stages. It is very important to carry out the test as according to research breast cancer is the most common type of cancer suffered by women.
Breast Examination is defined as the process of examining the tissue and check if the tissue is normal or abnormal. These examinations are held to find out if there is any abnormality in the breast or not.
You can find the abnormality of the organ by just looking at it. You can also consult your doctor to suggest you some tests that can help you detect cancer cell more accurately like MRI, Ultrasound, biopsy, etc.
What are the different types of Breast Exams?
The following are the common breast exams that are undertaken by patients:
- Digital Mammography
- Digital Breast Tomosynthesis or 3-D mammography
- Breast ultrasound
- Tissue MRI
- Breast Needle Biopsy
- Cyst or Fine Needle Aspiration
- Self Breast Examination
Among all these above types of breast examination, Mammography is the common type of examining the tissue. Self-Lymph Node Examination is also common as it is cost-friendly but is also time-consuming.
Signs that suggest you need a breast exam
When you see the following signs, you must go through the breast exam immediately:
- Breast pain
- Swelling in some parts of the breast
- Red and pitted skin surface over your breast
- Inverted nipple
- Unexplained change in appearance, shape and size of the breast
- Bloody or any other discharge from the nipple that is not milk
- A sensation of a lump in the breast or under your arm
Read More – The Stages of Breast Cancer
Have queries or concern ?
How often should breast exam be done?
Breast Examination or previous detection of the cancer cell in the lymph node needs proper scheduling with the Doctor or physician. Some of the guidelines that decide the performing of Breast Examination are as follows:
- From age 20-39 it is better to perform a Clinical Examination every year.
- Self Examination should be started at the age of 20.
- At the age of 40, it is better to perform Mammography.
- At the age of 50 or above then that should consider performing Mammography every year.
How do you perform a Breast Exam?
- You should lie down to see the entire organ at the same point.
- You should place your right hand at the back of your head.
- With your middle fingers of your left hand gently yet firmly press down using small motions.
- In the next process, you can sit down.
- Try to feel your armpit, because lymph node tissue goes into that area.
- With the fingertips squeeze the nipple and check if any discharge is coming out or not.
- Repeat the same process with your left side gland.
Other exams can be performed under several tests and diagnose methods including:
- Examine the Mammary Gland- Here, the doctor checks your lymph nodes or breast gland to see any signs of abnormality or presence of lumps.
- Mammogram – As mentioned above, this is the most common type of breast exam. In this process, an x-ray is passed through the breast to identify the presence of cancer cell in the lymph node.
- Biopsy- Biopsy involves extracting a small cell out of your gland as a sample to check the presence of cancer cells. This is one of the most positive ways of examining breast cancer.
- MRI – In MRI, the doctor, with the help of magnetic, a computer and radioactive waves, obtain a picture of the insides of the breast and check for cancer symptoms.
When is the best time to do a self-breast exam?
Apart from this when you will feel any kind of abnormality in the breast you can examine the organ. Like if you find any kind of pain, swelling, or lump in the organ.
Breast examination is highly essential to perform and also helps you to save your life. World Health Organization (WHO) do not give support for a Breast Examination as it is not effective in preventing death, but other organization are neutral and do not recommend for or against BSE.
You should consult a doctor to know if a breast examination will be good for you or not.
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