A Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer Screening

Self Exam

According to the National Cancer Institute , an estimated 230,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year alone. One of the best ways to protect against breast cancer is to be educated on the different screening methods. Keep reading to learn of three different types of screening methods for breast cancer :

Self-Breast Exams
A self-breast exam helps you to become aware of how your breasts normally look and feel, making it easier to report any new breast changes to your health professional. All women should begin performing self-breast exams in their twenties. The best way to examine your breasts is to lie down on your back and place your right arm behind your head. Using the finger pads of your three middle fingers on your left hand, feel your breasts using overlapping circular motions. You may also want to use three different levels of pressure—light pressure for the tissue closest to the skin, medium pressure to feel a little deeper, and firm pressure to feel the tissue closest to your ribs and chest.

Clinical Examinations
Clinical breast examinations are another important aspect of breast cancer screening. These examinations are often a routine part of a gynecological or physical examination and allow your health professional to look for breast abnormalities and feel your breasts for tissue changes. Women between the ages of 20-39 should have a clinical breast exam every one to three years, while women over age 40 should have them performed annually.

A mammogram refers to an x-ray of the breast and is a crucial part of breast cancer screening. Studies suggest that all women should begin having annual mammograms at age 40 as a way to detect early signs of breast cancer.

The Women’s Center at Regional Medical Center of San Jose provides a number of services, including breast care screenings and gynecological care. Get the high-quality services you deserve by contacting us at (408) 259-4000.