Breast exams are the best way to locate cancerous lumps at an early stage before they become harder to treat. If you find anything unusual on a routine self-exam, the experienced team at Louisiana Center for Women's Health in West Monroe, Louisiana, can help. They perform a further exam and run tests to find the cause of any breast abnormalities, ensuring you get prompt, effective treatment. Call the office to arrange a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Breast exams are an essential tool that both you and the Louisiana Center for Women's Health team can use to identify changes in your breast tissue and screen for cancer.
Regular self-examination is an effective way of detecting changes at the earliest stage, so you should be checking your breasts at home. If you're unsure of the best way to perform a self-check, the Louisiana Center for Women's Health team can show you.
It's best to carry out a breast exam just after your period every month. Because of the natural changes that take place as a result of fluctuating hormone levels when you're menstruating, it may be more difficult to identify abnormalities at other times.
Breast exams also form part of your annual well-woman exam at Louisiana Center for Women's Health. However, if you discover any lumps or experience other symptoms, like nipple discharge, you should talk to your OB/GYN as soon as possible.
Breast exams are vital, as breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women. Only lung cancer causes more cancer deaths each year in the United States, and as many as 1 in every 8 women is at risk of developing breast cancer.
As well as being potentially life-saving, detecting breast cancer early significantly reduces your likelihood of having to undergo a mastectomy (removal of your breast).
Self-examination alongside medical breast exams, and regular mammograms after you reach 40, are safe and effective ways of screening for breast cancer.
If you do have a lump, it's far more likely to be a benign cyst or fibroadenoma. Still, as breast cancer poses such a threat, it's always best to get a medical assessment.
As well as obvious lumps, breast exams can detect a great many abnormalities, including:
Various breast conditions might cause these changes, including abscesses and mastitis (infection in your milk ducts).
During your breast exam at Louisiana Center for Women's Health, your OB/GYN might ask you to lift your arms and change position so they can see and feel the slightest abnormality. The shape and consistency of any lump help determine whether you need further tests.
After identifying a lump during your breast exam, your OB/GYN might ask you to undergo additional tests to confirm the cause. Possible tests include:
For help with self-examination or to arrange a breast exam, call Louisiana Center for Women's Health or book an appointment online today.