The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, regardless of race or ethnicity. A BSE test also referred to as a breast self-exam, is the key to treating breast cancer early. The main goal and benefit of a BSE test are to catch any signs of breast cancer as early as possible and begin treatment if necessary. The American Cancer Society reports that the average risk of a woman developing breast cancer during her lifetime is 13%. This year, it is expected that over 276,000 new cases will be diagnosed in women. Making a commitment to keeping your breast health a priority in the new year is one of the best resolutions you could make for yourself. 


What Is a Breast Exam and Why Is It Important

You may be wondering how often women should do breast self-exams. The National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends women conduct a BSE test once a month and pay close attention to any changes in breast tissue. These changes can include fluctuations in size, feeling a lump, nipple inversion, redness or scaliness of breast skin or nipple, dimpling or puckering of the breast, and nipple discharge or secretion. When to do self breast exam? The best time for the is 7 to 10 days after your menstrual period starts. This is the time period when breasts aren’t as tender and lumpy. For women who are no longer menstruating, you should choose the same day every month to conduct a BSE test. 

It is recommended that women at age 40 should be getting breast exams with a doctor every year. Depending on your family history, a routine clinical breast exam may be recommended more frequently. If you are wondering when to do a breast exam, doctors advise you to have one done after your menstrual cycle. You will have mammography, which uses low energy X – rays to detect breast abnormalities. It has been demonstrated that getting mammography reduces the breast cancer mortality rate by 20%. 

Your doctor will ask you for a detailed history of your health. These questions may include when you began menstruating if you have children and your age when your first child was born. You will be asked to undress from the waist up and your doctor will check your breasts for changes in size, shape, and symmetry. They will also check the breast skin for any rashes, dimpling, or redness. Laying on your back, they will examine your breasts with the pads of their fingers to find lumps and any other changes. Your underarms will be examined as well since this is where lymph nodes are located. 


What Is a Breast Exam and Why Is It Important

Breast Exams Are Still Key to Detection

A study included in the Journal of Women’s Health indicated that 64% of women receiving treatment from California’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program detected breast cancer with a BSE test. This clearly demonstrates that individual women are almost just as likely as doctors to detect breast cancer. The best time for self breast exam are crucial for early detection. The best time for the self-breast exam is now if you have not already started. The World Health Organization notes that over 2 million women are affected by breast cancer every year, resulting in 15% of all cancer deaths for women. 


Request Your Appointment Today

The Breast Care Center Miami is a committed and compassionate group of board-certified and fellowship-trained medical professionals who believe in providing personalized medical care. We are well known for our cutting edge breast care and advanced surgical techniques. Whether this is your first time getting a breast exam or you’ve detected abnormalities during a BSE test, we are committed to providing tailored breast care. We are here for every step of your health journey and look forward to supporting you. Request your appointment today!