Different Types of Breast Exams

Different Types of Breast Exams

As a woman, one of the most important ways you can take charge of your health is by monitoring your breasts. By performing regular self-exams and attending any necessary breast screenings, you can ensure you take good care of your breasts and catch any issues early.

At Women's Health Associates of Southern Nevada, Northwest in Las Vegas, Nevada, OB/GYNs Anita Gondy, MD, Saovaros V. Michaels, MD, and Henry Luh, DO, and our gynecology team are here to support you in your breast care. Find out more about the different types of breast exams you can get to support your breast health.

Why get breast exams?

By participating in breast examinations, you significantly reduce your risk of experiencing serious complications from breast cancer or other lumps and growths in your breasts. Breast care and breast exams allow you to catch any symptoms in your breasts that require further testing or treatment quickly, before they become more serious.

The different kinds of breast exams

There are a number of different types of breast examinations you can get or give to yourself. Here are some of the most common.

Breast self-examination

The breast self-exam is one you can perform on your own at home. Ideally, you should examine your breasts once a month, about a week after your period finishes.

During a self-exam, look to see if there are any changes in the shape, size, evenness, and coloration of your breasts. Additionally, be on the lookout for rashes, puckering or dimpling of the skin, and any changes to your nipples.

Next, lie down and feel your breast tissue with your fingers, examining with a small, circular motion. While doing this, feel for any unusual lumps or bumps.

If you find any lumps or notice any unusual changes to your breasts, make an appointment with our providers for further follow-up.

Clinical breast exam

Our clinicians also thoroughly examine your breasts at your annual exam. This clinical breast exam, like your self-examination, looks for lumps or other areas of concern in your breasts.

Mammogram

A mammogram is a simple, painless routine screening you receive to detect breast cancer. Most women start getting mammograms at 40, but you might start having screenings earlier if you’re determined to be at higher risk.

Using advanced technology, digital mammography detects breast cancer using electronics to see inside your breasts. Mammograms can also be performed using computer-aided detection (CAD).

If your routine mammography screening shows any areas of concern, you might be referred to get a follow-up diagnostic mammogram that focuses on that specific area.

Breast MRI

Using radio waves and magnet technology, breast MRIs take photographs to assess your breasts for cancer. An MRI is sometimes recommended alongside a mammogram if you’re found to be at higher risk for breast cancer.

Breast ultrasound

An ultrasound is a noninvasive and safe procedure that looks at any breast lumps or other concerns found during a mammogram or similar screening. This procedure uses no radiation.

Working in partnership with you, our team is committed to keeping your breasts healthy and providing breast examinations and high-quality referrals for breast screenings. To discuss breast care services, call our office or request an appointment online today.

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