What is a breast exam?
A breast exam, or clinical breast examination, is done to detect lumps in the breast and other changes that may require more testing. Breast exams are one of the most effective early screenings for breast cancer. They improve the chances of finding breast cancer early, and the earlier is it found, the easier it is to treat. During the exam, your doctor will check for lumps and other issues and will recommend tests if anything unusual is found.
How often should I schedule a breast exam?
If you are in your 20s or 30s, you should schedule a breast exam every 1-3 years. As soon as you turn 40, breast exams should take place once a year. Often you will receive one during your annual well woman exam. If you have had ovarian or breast cancer before, or someone in your family has suffered from ovarian or breast cancer, notify your doctor. You may need to schedule your exams more frequently.
How is the exam done?
During your exam, your doctor will check both breasts, both nipples, as well as your armpits. Your doctor will be looking for any possible signs of breast cancer or health problems. They will also discuss your risk for breast cancer and what you can do to help prevent it.
Should I do self-exams at home?
Yes, although you will not need to examine your breasts on a particular schedule. We recommend that you monitor and feel your breasts from time to time, and know what’s normal for your body. If you notice any changes in how your breasts look or feel, schedule an appointment with your doctor. If you do find a lump in your breast, it does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Cysts or infections can often cause lumps or other changes.
Request examinations in the San Fernando Valley
If you live in Calabasas, West Lake, Thousand Oaks, or the neighboring area, schedule your breast exams at Premier Women’s Health Associates in West Hills, California. We can also do a mammogram to check for breast cancer. If a lump or an issue is found, we will discuss the next steps with you. To get started, request an appointment online or give us a call at (818) 346-5000.