Over 300,000 men and women go through breast cancer every year. With those kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder that we try to be proactive with breast exams and mammograms. These tools allow us to detect changes right away. Any unusual change in the breast is cause for further exploration.
Here are the breast exams etc you should be having:
There are really four different ways that your breasts and breast changes could be measured or monitored. Here are the most common breast exams and when they should be done.
Weekly home breast exams
You should do self-exams of both breasts and your arm pit area at least once per week. If you ever notice a lump or other unusual change, call us for an appointment so that we can investigate further. It may not be cause for alarm, but early detection is key when it comes to breast cancer survival rates.
Breast exams from your doctor
As a general rule, you should expect your doctor to perform a breast exam as part of your annual well-woman checkup. You may also get breast exams during a visit for hormonal changes or pregnancy.
Sometimes it can be helpful to have a baseline to compare future mammograms. If you have high risk factors for breast cancer, or a family history of breast cancer, you may benefit from getting these done in your 30s.
After the age of about 43 to 45 women should get a mammogram every year. With the enactment of the ACA, insurance must cover women’s preventative care at no cost to the patient. This includes annual mammograms. You should be able to easily set up your appointment through our office.
Contact us today if you need information about self-breast examinations or other concerns.