Self-Tests for Breast Cancer
Detecting breast cancer early is critical for the best chance to survive breast cancer and achieve complete remission. While annual breast cancer screenings are essential, women should also be doing self-tests for breast cancer.
Monthly Breast Exam
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 40% of breast cancer is found by the person performing a breast self-examination. For most women, performing a self-exam once a month is enough, but if you are high risk or have immediate family members who have had breast cancer, it may be better to perform a self-exam every two weeks.
How Do I Perform a Self-Exam?
There are three parts to the self-exam. First, you should visually inspect your breasts in front of a mirror. Does either breast look different than normal? Do you see any dimpling or swelling? The second part of the self-exam is to carefully feel your breasts by massaging in a circular motion. This is best done while in the shower. Feel for any lumps or thickened areas and follow up with a doctor if you feel something. Finally, lie down and put a pillow under your shoulder and feel your breast and inspect your nipple for discharge.
BRCA testing is genetic testing of genes that have been identified in having a role in suppressing breast cancer tumors. For some women, especially those who have a family member who has been tested and has the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 mutation or have had breast cancer themselves, this test can provide genetic information that can help you make decisions about how to manage your breast health. Some women who have the BRCA1-2 mutation choose an elective mastectomy rather than risk developing breast cancer.
If you have concerns about your breast health or your risk for breast cancer, get in touch. Mammograms are the single best tool to find breast cancer at its earliest stages — long before you or your doctor can feel a lump. Having regular 3D mammograms performed by an experienced board-certified breast imaging specialist is the best way to detect abnormalities early. Visit PURE Mammography in the Smith Haven Mall today, no appointment necessary. You can also call 631-652-3424 or fill out the form on this page to pre-schedule an appointment or to learn more about PURE.