What Is The Difference Between A Breast Self
A healthcare professional like your doctor or their nurse performs a clinical breast exam. They are trained to spot warning signs and abnormalities. You probably receive a clinical breast exam as part of your annual physical already. The doctor will do many of the same things you did during your breast self-exam, including visually examining your breasts in different positions, checking for unusual textures or lumps, and checking your nipples for unusual discharge.
Some women have breast tissue with many small fibrous bumps or ridges. This condition is called fibrocystic breasts. Your doctor will make a note of this, but you should know it is not related to cancer. The kind of lumps your doctor is worried about are usually pea-sized before anyone can feel them in breast tissue. The doctor will also check your lymph nodes near the breasts to see if they are swollen.
If the doctor finds a lump, they will check its size, texture and shape. Lumps that are not cancerous may feel different from ones that are cancerous. The doctor will also check to see if the lump moves easily. Lumps that seem to be smooth, round, soft and moveable are most often non-cancerous tumors or cysts. Lumps that the doctor feels are hard, irregularly-shaped, and seem to be attached inside the breast tissue are more at risk of being cancerous. In either case, the doctor will need more tests to diagnose the lump and be sure.
Kansas City ObGyn
Start By Visually Examining Your Breasts
- Stand or sit topless in front of a mirror with your arms limp at your sides.
- Face forward. Look at your breasts and note any dimpling, puckering of the skin, or changes in breast size, shape or symmetry.
- Note whether your nipples are inverted .
- Press down on your hips with your hands and inspect your breasts for the same things as above.
- Raise your arms over your head. Press the palms of your hands together. Examine your breasts again, using the same checklist above.
- Raise your breasts with your hands. Check to see that any ridges underneath are symmetrical.
Why Breast Cancer Patients Should Pass On Covid
If you or a loved one has breast cancer you may have been told by your doctor to get one of the COVID shots. I disagree with this approach for many reasons.
Here are some things to research before getting the COVID shots:
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Breast self-awareness focuses on having a sense of what is normal for your breasts so that you can tell if there are changeseven small changesand report them to your ob-gyn or other health care professional.
Breast cancer often is found by a woman herself. This happens in almost one half of all cases of breast cancer in women aged 50 years and older. In women younger than 50 years, more than 70% of cases of breast cancer are found by the women themselves.
If you are aged 40 years or older, you can start the conversation with these questions:
What are my chances of having breast cancer?
When should I start getting regular mammograms?
How often should I get them?
You can ask more specific questions based on your age. If you are aged 4049 years:
What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms before I turn 50?
If you are aged 5075 years:
What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms every 2 years instead of every year?
If you are older than 75 years:
Do I need to keep having mammograms?
You and your ob-gyn or other health care professional should share information, talk about your wishes, and agree on when and how often you will have breast screening.
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Breast Cancer & Genetics
Regular breast exams and mammograms are especially important for women who are genetically prone to breast cancer. About 5-10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary, most commonly resulting from a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which helps repair damaged DNA. When mutated, they cannot perform their job, leading to abnormal cell growth and potentially cancer.
The BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation leads to a higher risk of developing breast cancer and developing it at a younger age. Women with the mutation must be particularly diligent about receiving regular mammograms and getting them early.
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What Happens At A Well
Your annual well-woman exam is tailored to suit your specific needs and health concerns. Depending on your age, family history, personal health history, and need for preventive screenings, your doctor may also check your blood pressure, height, weight, or temperature. Here is what you can expect at a typical well-woman exam:
- Clinical breast exam Your gynecologist will manually examine your breast tissue and check for lumps or other abnormalities in and around the breast area and lymph nodes.
- Pelvic exam During this exam your doctor will manually check your ovaries and swab your cervix to test it for signs of cervical cancer. During this part of the exam, a speculum is inserted into your vagina, so your doctor can examine your cervix and take a cell sample or Pap smear.
- Mammogram During this exam, an experienced mammogram technician will take two images of each breast and send it to your doctor and/or gynecologist for review. Mammograms are required for all women over the age of 40.
If youre looking for a compassionate gynecologist who is skilled in performing annual well-woman exams, call Adriatica Womens Health at 972-542-8884 for award-winning gynecologic care.
Why Isnt My Yearly Breast Exam At The Doctors Office Enough
Many doctors believe breast self-exam is an essential screening strategy when used in combination with regular exams by your doctor and mammograms according to the recommended schedules. They strongly recommend all women perform BSEs, get yearly clinical exams from their doctors and follow the mammography exam recommendations.
The Mayo Clinic reports a significant number of women found the first signs of breast cancer through BSEs. Most doctors feel women should be familiar with their bodies and breasts to understand what is normal and so they can report changes or concerns. Anything that looks or feels out of the ordinary warrants a call to the doctor.
Our recommendation at Kansas City ObGyn is to combine regular self-exams with annual check-ups with your gynecologist, and to get annual mammograms after age 40.
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Why Women Buy Into The Fear Around Breast Cancer
There are many factors that contribute to a womans fear regarding her breasts. First, there are all the new screenings and treatments that are continually added into protocol, such as 3D Tomosynthesis Mammography, what I call a better mousetrap. And, once screenings and treatment regimens become standard it is hard to remove them from practice, even when the evidence supports discontinuing them. In addition, even enlightened doctors simply dont want to risk NOT prescribing regular breast cancer screenings out of fear of litigation.
The reality is, if you buy into the cultural fears around breast cancer, you may be subjecting your breasts to harmful therapies and end up being diagnosed with, and treated for, something that would never harm you in the first place, such as DCIS Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, stage zero canceror cancer you may die with but not from. In fact, there is a movement afoot to change the name of this condition because the name itself scares so many people.
A Manual Check For Unusual Texture Or Lumps
Using the pads of the fingers, your healthcare provider checks your entire breast, underarm, and collarbone area for any lumps or abnormalities. It is worth noting that some women have breast tissue that appears to be full of tiny fibrous bumps or ridges throughout the breast tissue, known as fibrocystic breasts. Overall lumpy tissue is something your provider will want to note but is unrelated to cancer.
A suspicious lump the type your physician is checking for is generally about the size of a pea before anyone can feel it in the breast tissue. The manual exam is done on one side and then the other. Your healthcare provider will also check the lymph nodes near the breast to see if they are enlarged.
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A Visual Check Of Skin And Tissue
During a clinical breast exam, your healthcare provider checks your breasts appearance. You may be asked to raise your arms over your head, let them hang by your sides, or press your hands against your hips. These postures allow your healthcare provider to look for differences in size or shape between your breasts. The skin covering your breasts is checked for any rash, dimpling, or other abnormal signs. Your nipples may be checked to see if fluid is expressed when lightly squeezed.
Screen For Breast Cancer
One component of a visit to the gynecologist is a thorough breast exam. Your doctor will palpate your breast tissue to feel for lumps or hard spots. If any are found, you may be referred for further diagnostic tests, like a mammogram or ultrasound. When breast cancer is diagnosed early, there is a better chance of successful treatment.
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Can You Explain The Studys Design
The coopERA clinical trial was a window of opportunity and neoadjuvant clinical trial in which patients who had breast cancer that was at least 1.5 cm in size and postmenopausal ER-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer were randomly assigned 1 to 1 to receive either 2 weeks of single agent giredestrant or 2 weeks of single agent anastrozole, with a biopsy prior to starting any therapy and a biopsy after 2 weeks of therapy. All patients then went on to receive either giredestrant or anastrozole in combination with palbociclib for several months prior to going to surgery.
The primary endpoint of our trial was to measure whether there was a significant change in Ki67 , which is a marker of proliferation, from day 1 to 14 in either treatment arm. We know from other clinical trials a significant drop in Ki67 from baseline to week 2 following endocrine therapy is associated with an improvement in event-free survival may be a good surrogate marker for long-term outcomes. This study was designed to measure the biological activity in terms of inhibition of proliferation, comparing giredestrant to anastrozole..
Your Gynecologist Can Help
If you’re concerned about your risk for ovarian cancer, your gynecologist is the best medical professional to talk to since it’s a cancer of the female reproductive tract. Your gynecologist can help you plan for risk prevention and, if concerned about your potential for ovarian cancer, she can recommend you to a gynecological oncologist, a doctor who works with female-specific cancers.
At All About Women, our professional and compassionate team of expert gynecologists is here to help you stay well, regardless of your concerns or point in life. Contact us at our Gainesville or Lake City office today to schedule an appointment.
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How Often Should I Go To The Ob
Another day, another reason to put off making that appointment. But for every reason you can think of not to go, theres a better reason to book it, experts say. After all, the more time that lapses between visits, the more changes in your life occur. You may need to get that Pap test youve been putting off, reassess your thoughts regarding hormonal birth control and other forms of contraception, or have a general checkup with your doctor.
But how often should you actually be seeing your ob-gyn or your general health care provider to talk about your reproductive health-care options? That all depends on a few things.
Onclive: Could You Speak To The Rationale For This Study
Hurvitz: Giredestrant is an oral estrogen receptor downregulator thats being evaluated for ER-positive breast cancer. We have the use of 1 ER downregulator, fulvestrant , for metastatic ER-positive breast cancer, which appears to be better than single agent aromatase inhibitors in the metastatic setting. However, it needs to be delivered through an intramuscular injection its oral bioavailability is too low, which is not convenient for patients. , a SERD like giredestrant is being developed, and shown early evidence of safety and efficacy in the metastatic setting. It’s also fairly potent. We wanted to evaluate the biological activity of this drug in a clinical trial that would compare it to the biological activity of anastrozole. This would be the first clinical trial pairing an oral SERD like this to an AI to report out.
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General Tips To Help With Your Breast Self
- Use the pads, not the tips, of your three middle fingers. These are the most sensitive parts of your fingers. You can also use your palm or the backs of your fingers if you must.
- Use different pressure levels for each area of the breast. You want to feel different levels of your breast tissue. Start with light pressure to check the tissue closest to the skin, then move to medium pressure to feel deeper tissue, and finish with firm pressure to feel the breast tissue that lies closest to your ribs. Use each pressure level on each area of the breast before moving on to the next area.
- Do not rush during your breast self-exam. It will take several minutes to do each stage of your breast exam.
- Follow a methodical pattern and technique to examine your entire breast. Some women imagine their breast as the face of a clock or slices of a pie so they can ensure they examine every area.
- Start close to your collarbone and thoroughly check that section, moving your fingers towards your nipple. Once that section is complete, move your fingers to the next section.
‘my Dog Found My Cancer’
I had just been to the ob-gyn for my annual check-up and breast exam, and got the ‘all okay.’ Soon after, my little dog Zoe climbed up on me and started pawing at a specific part of my breast. Little alarms went off in my head, telling me to pay attention. It was like a slow-motion movie. I pushed her off and thats when I found a little round BB-sized lump. After a mammogram that didnt show anything, and a sonogram that found the lump, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Its so important to listen to the messages our bodies are telling us.
Christine Egan, author of The Healthy Girls Guide to Breast Cancer, Bayport, New York
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‘i Felt Something Like A Hard Round Piece Of Cheese’
After a shower one night, I did a self-breast check. I felt something like a round, hard piece of cheese about the size of a quarter. I had just had a mammogram six months earlier. I felt healthy, biked all the time, and wouldnt have guessed that something wasnt right in my body. But I didnt wait to see what was going on. I went to the doctor immediately and was referred for an ultrasound and needle biopsy. I was diagnosed at age 46 with stage 3 breast cancer, and soon after had a mastectomy. I would never recommend to anyone to ‘wait and see.’ While it was a very scary realization, youre only saving yourself if you take care of it aggressively.
Sandy Hanshaw, founder of Bike for Boobs, San Diego
The Value Of Clinical Breast Exams
Clinical Breast exams are an important part of early detection. Although most lumps are discovered through breast self-exams, an experienced professional may notice a suspicious place that fails to register as a warning in the patients mind.
Materials on this page are courtesy of National Cancer Institute
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Contact Green Valley Ob/gyn
Green Valley OB/GYN has been providing the highest quality of obstetric and gynecological care for over 70 years. We offer a comprehensive list of services, including clinical breast exams and screening mammography. To set up an appointment to talk about your health, call us at 378-1110 to schedule an appointment.
Should I Do Breast Self
Experts used to recommend that you do breast self-exams every month. A self-exam was a specific way of feeling your breasts. But research about breast self-exams has found that they may not be that helpful, so they are no longer recommended.
Just looking at your breasts and feeling them from time to time should be good enough. The key is knowing whats normal for your breasts so youll notice any changes in how they look or feel.
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