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Beyond the women’s clinic: How to do a self breast exam

Beyond the women’s clinic: How to do a self breast exam

Early detection is critical to successfully treating breast cancer

Women’s clinic in Atlanta and Alpharetta, GA perform breast exams on patients at their annual exams. But, it is important that women check for signs of breast cancer between visits as well. After all, nobody knows your body better than you. Women should perform a breast exam on themselves once a month. Below, we’ll show you how

  1. Stand in front of a mirror and visually inspect your breasts while your arms are loose at your sides. Look for any changes between last month or dimpling of your skin.
  2. Raise your arms above your head. Inspect your breast for changes just like you did while your arms were at your sides. It is important to note that most women do not have two perfectly symmetrical breasts so you should look for changes between each month. Contact your women’s clinic if you notice any skin dimpling or increase or decrease in size.
  3. Hop into the shower. This step is easier when your skin is wet. Using your fingers, move around your breast in a circular patter from the outside to the center. Make sure you check your entire breast, including your armpit area. As you press your skin, feel for any lumps or hardened knots.
  4. Lay down on your bed with a pillow under your right shoulder and put your right arm behind your head.
  5. Use your left hand to repeat the steps you did in the shower. Laying down spreads out the breast tissue. Once you are done with the right side, repeat with the other.
  6. Squeeze your nipples to check for any discharge and lumps.

What to do if you have a concern

If you notice a lump, change in your breast shape, or other concern during your breast self-exam, contact your women’s clinic. Your doctor will have you come in so they can check. Your women’s clinic physician will do their own breast exam, and if needed, order tests such as a mammogram or biopsy.

Though detecting a possible sign of breast cancer is scary, it is important you try to remain calm. Once you have contacted your women’s clinic, do some stress relieving activities until it’s time for your appointment.

Women’s clinic in Atlanta and Alpharetta, GA

Atlanta and Alpharetta, GA women should perform self-breast exams between visits to their women’s clinic. These monthly checks help detect signs of breast cancer early, which plays a key role in treating this disease. If you need help performing a breast exam, ask your doctor to show you how to do it. Or, if you have a concern, contact them as well. They are happy to help.

Next week, we’ll cover risk factors of breast cancer and what to do if you are at increased risk.

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