How important are self breast exams?

Your Health

“Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women. Second only to skin cancer.” Erin Large, OB/GYN is a doctor at Washington Regional’s HerHealth Clinic. She says “You can not usually prevent breast cancer the same way we could prevent lung cancer. However, there are several steps you can take for early detection.”

“According to John’s Hopkins Medical Center, 40% of breast cancers can actually be detected at self breast exams that are performed at home. In my practice, I encourage patients to practice self breast awareness. And that really means just pay attention to your body and your breast health. I encourage my patients if they notice something different on their exam.” Things to look for are:

  • Tenderness
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Lump or bump
  • One breast looks different than the other
  • Dimpling

“If you do feel a lump or you do see and abnormality in your breast I want you to call you physician or give us a call here at HerHealth and we’ll get you scheduled with one of our physicians. Typically we will perform a breast exam, we’ll evaluate your symptoms and review them with you. And then get you connected with a radiology facility where the next step in the evaluation can occur if it’s indicated, such as a mammogram or an ultrasound. I encourage patients not to panic in these situations cause 8 out of 10 evaluations at home are usually benign. Most of the time when patients evaluate something it’s a benign process. However we should rule out anything underlying, like a breast cancer.”

To learn more about Washington Regional HerHealth Clinic click here or call 479-463-5500 to schedule an appointment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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