BREAST IMAGING » Breast Cancer Screening
"A screening test tries to find a disease before there are any symptoms. With breast cancer, there's a misconception that if you feel fine, don't have a lump, and have no family history of breast cancer, you're okay. The truth is that three-quarters of the women in whom we find breast cancer have no risk factors. So screening is important for everyone."
-- Susan Greenstein Orel, M.D.
The American Cancer Society recommends a combination of breast self-exams (BSE), regular clinical breast examinations (CBE) and annual screening mammograms beginning at the age of 40.
Breast self-exam (BSE) is an examination of your own breast once a month. This examination will help you familiarize yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel. It should be performed several days after your period ends, when your breasts are less likely to be swollen or tender. If you no longer having periods then you can choose any day that is easy to remember.
A clinical breast examination (CBE) is an examination of your breast and under arm area by a health care professional, such as a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. First, the health care professional will look at your breast for abnormalities in shape or size, or changes in the skin of the nipples or breast. Then with the pads of their fingers, they will gently palpate your breast and under arm area, feeling for any abnormal textures or lumps.
A screening mammogram uses computers and a digital detector that produces detailed digital images of breast tissue. Computer-aided detection (CAD) helps the radiologist easily identify breast abnormalities.
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