Breast exams are an important part of a woman’s healthcare routine. Regular breast exams help to detect any changes in the breasts that may indicate a problem. Knowing how often to get a breast exam can help to ensure that any potential issues are caught early on and treated promptly.
Breast Examination Recommendations
Several variables affect how frequently you should undergo a breast exam. Self-examination is a skill that every woman should master and practice at least once a month in her own home. A certified specialist must conduct additional testing. A professional exam should be performed periodically depending on your age and risk.
Examinations for Breast Cancer Screening
A clinical breast exam (CBE) analysis is performed by a qualified medical expert who has received specialized training. It would help to have this checked every time you visit the doctor for a gynecological exam. You will get a CBE each year if you get a yearly checkup.
Your breast tissue, the area under your arms, and the region rising toward your collarbone will be examined by your doctor, nurse practitioner, or another qualified medical professional. They encourage you to adopt a new stance to explore the tissue from numerous perspectives.
Mammograms are used to detect and screen for breast cancer. This imaging examination is capable of finding anomalies, lumps, and cancers. This test can detect malignant tissue in women who would not typically exhibit any overt indications of abnormal breast tissue.
Breast cancer is screened for with a mammogram, a type of diagnostic X-ray imaging. One of the most crucial instruments for early diagnosis is the mammogram. Your breast tissue will be compressed and flattened during this test between two firm surfaces. The X-ray takes pictures of the tissues and sends them to a viewing screen so the doctor may examine them.
Using radio waves and magnets, a machine called an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, produces exact images of breast tissues. This test is routinely used to look for pre-existing tumors and find breast cancer.
An MRI is advised for those whose lifetime chance of developing breast cancer is less than 15%. Whether an MRI is required for your tests will be decided by your doctor.
Your doctor or a sonographer can use an in-office ultrasound to identify the size and shape of any suspected breast lumps. This early diagnostic technique makes it possible to establish whether a lump is a benign cyst or a malignancy. An ultrasound may help check on symptoms, changes, or existing masses.
You won’t need a breast ultrasound unless you see lumps or other abnormalities in your breast tissue. Although it is not necessary for all women, this is a vital tool for assessing breast tissue.
Greater Risk of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is more likely to affect some women than others. A higher risk necessitates regular testing, even though it does not prevent cancer development. The increased danger is only made worse by age. Risk elements for breast cancer include:
- Having received chest radiation therapy
- A propensity for breast cancer in one’s family
- Possessing a genetic mutation (BRCA 1 or BRCA 2, CDH1, Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba Syndrome), which is linked to breast cancer
If you think you might have a higher risk of breast cancer, contact an experienced doctor in Forest Hills, NY. We can provide knowledgeable suggestions and counsel for your testing strategy. Aside from mammograms, confident women can also require MRIs.
The advantages of early breast cancer detection include better quality of life, more treatment options, and higher survival rates. Routine screenings can significantly affect how your treatment and life progress after the first breast cancer diagnosis, even though no test is 100% accurate for detecting the disease.
Barbara Hessel, MD, FACOG, has been a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist for over 25 years. Book an appointment now for a breast exam!