Breast Health: Self-Exams and Mammograms

Maintaining breast health is crucial for early detection and prevention of breast cancer. Two key practices in breast health care are self-exams and mammograms. Understanding their importance and how to perform them can empower you to take proactive steps in monitoring your breast health. Breast health is something that should never be ignored and should be something that is actively thought about.

The Importance of Breast Health

Performing regular breast self-exams helps you become familiar with the normal look and feel of your breasts. This awareness can make it easier to notice any unusual changes, such as lumps, thickening, or changes in texture, which may require further medical evaluation. If you notice any changes, it’s important to seek help immediately and get any additional care you might need.

For a self-exam, you can start with a visual inspection. Stand in front of a mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Look for any changes in the size, shape, or symmetry of your breasts. Check for visible distortions, swelling, or skin changes like dimpling or puckering.

After the visual exam, you can physically examine your breasts. Raise your arms and look for the same changes. Feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and vice versa. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few fingers of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Also, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they prefer to do this step in the shower.

Mammograms are X-ray images of the breast that can detect tumors or abnormalities that may not be felt during a self-exam. They are essential for early detection of breast cancer, often identifying issues before symptoms develop, leading to earlier and more effective treatment. While self-exams help you stay aware of changes in your breasts, mammograms provide detailed images that can detect issues not visible to the naked eye. Together, they offer a comprehensive approach to breast health care.

Contact Our OBGYN Today

Take breast health seriously. Contact your OBGYN to schedule your mammogram today.

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