Breast Self Exams FAQs

What is a breast self-exam?

A breast self-exam (BSE) is a regular self-exam that helps a woman become familiar with the normal look and feel of her breast tissue. A breast self-exam involves visually looking at the skin, breast tissue, nipples, and underarms and manually feeling the breast tissue to determine the normal geography of the tissue. When a woman regularly examines her breasts and is familiar with the normal look and feel, it is easier for her to detect small changes and notify her health care provider.

When should I start getting a mammogram done?

Although each woman’s case is different, most women ages 40 to 54 should have a mammogram each year and those 55 years and over should continue getting mammograms every 1 to 2 years. If you need to schedule your mammogram, call Dr. Hill to book your appointment today.

What is the best time of the month to perform a breast self-exam?

Women should perform their breast self-exam 7-10 days after their menstrual period starts which is also when their breasts are the least tender and lumpy.

How often should I do a breast self-exam?

You should give yourself a breast self-exam once a month. Look for any changes in breast tissue, such as changes in size, if there any lumps, dimpling, inversion of the nipple, redness or scales, or discharge from the nipple.

Can breast self-exams take the place of mammograms or breast cancer screenings?

Breast self-exams cannot take the place of mammograms. While breast self-exams can be a great way to get to better know your breasts and spot potential abnormalities that occur between breast cancer screening appointments, mammograms are still a far more effective method of scanning for potential issues. Mammograms look under the skin and notice tumors before they are noticeable to the naked eye.

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