Three Ways to Catch Breast Cancer Early
When breast cancer is found early it can be easier to treat successfully. You should perform self-exams and have clinical exams and screening mammograms regularly for early detection.
You should check your own breasts monthly. Giving yourself a breast exam on a regular basis makes you more familiar with the look and feel of your breasts making it easier to spot any abnormalities. While looking in the mirror, check for any changes in size, the skin, or the nipples. Then, using the pad of your fingers, feel your breasts to check for any lumps. Check the entire breast and armpit.
Clinical breast exams are usually done during your regular women’s wellness exam. The provider will check your breasts by the look and feel. Providers are trained on what to look and feel for, so it is important to also include clinical exams routinely.
Screening mammograms are the best practice for catching abnormalities early. Mammograms can detect abnormalities before you are able to feel or see them. You can begin having mammograms at the age of 40. If you have personal or family history of breast cancer you may start having screening mammograms even earlier.
Finding an abnormality during a breast exam or mammogram does not always mean that you have cancer, but it does mean that you should be evaluated further.