Importance of Self-Exams in Early Detection of Breast Cancer

It is estimated that 40% of incidences of breast cancer are first detected through self-exams or when a woman notices a lump in her breast. Although clinical exams and mammograms are important factors in detecting breast cancer, even before there is a detectable lump, self-exams can fill in the times between professional visits. All women should be performing self-exams on their breasts at least once a month. There are three methods that should be used.

  • In the shower. The easiest way to exam the breasts is to perform an inspection while in the shower. Using circular motions with the pads of the fingers, start from the outside and work to the middle, feeling for any lumps or knots in the tissue.
  • Look in the mirror. A visual exam of the breast by looking in the mirror with arms down and with arms in the air should be used to identify any changes in shape. Look for dimples or changes in shape, including the nipples.
  • Laying on the bed. With a pillow under the left shoulder and the left arm curved over the head, exam the breast with right hand while lying on the bed. Then switch sides and examine the right side.

If there is any noticeable change in the breast, an appointment should be made to have a clinical exam and a mammogram. 3D mammography is one of the most effective options available for early detection of breast cancer with less chance of false positives or call backs. If a lump is detected or for regularly scheduled mammograms, visit your local radiology clinic that offers 3D mammography.

Posted on behalf of:
Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound & Breast Center, P.C.
Mount Vernon Medical Center
755 Mount Vernon Highway Northeast #310
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 252-3430