Breast Exams – What To Expect And What You Can Be Doing To Screen For Breast Cancer
Allison Crawford, BSN, RN 3W Clinical Nurse Director
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “not counting some kinds of skin cancer, breast cancer in the United States is the most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity”. With this in mind, breast health is an important component of an annual well-woman exam at 3W Medical for Women. During your appointment, your healthcare provider will ask about your family history and if you have found any changes in your breasts that concern you. Through providing a clinical breast exam our goal is to encourage our patients to learn what is normal for their breasts and create a culture of breast self-awareness. The key to breast self-awareness is knowing how your breasts normally look and feel and this will help you to notice any changes.
Here are some changes to look for:
- A lump
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, especially a bloody discharge
- A change in size or shape
- Skin irritation, such as redness, thickening, or dimpling of the skin
- Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit
- Nipple problems, such as pain or redness
Be sure to call your provider or make an appointment with us at 3W Medical if you notice any changes in your breasts. Breast self-awareness combined with a clinical breast exam during an annual well-woman exam can help detect breast cancer at an early stage when it has the greatest chances of being successfully treated.
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You can also view our video of Allison explaining this here.
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