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MomTalk.com November 20, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Breast Self Examination

breastexam.jpgA breast self-examination (BSE) is a technique that a woman can use to check her breasts and underarms using varying degrees of pressure to monitor for any possible changes that might indicate breast cancer. Along with clinical breast examinations (CBEs) and mammograms, BSEs are part of the main screening tools for breast cancer.

breastexam.jpgA breast self-examination (BSE) is a technique that a woman can use to check her breasts and underarms using varying degrees of pressure to monitor for any possible changes that might indicate breast cancer. Along with clinical breast examinations (CBEs) and mammograms, BSEs are part of the main screening tools for breast cancer.

The purpose of a monthly breast self-examination is for a woman to gain familiarity with her breasts so that any changes in texture, including the presence of a lump, can be detected as early as possible. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women, starting at age 20, should be educated on the benefits and limitations of performing a monthly BSE.

However, the ACS considers these examinations optional, rather than mandatory. If a woman chooses to perform monthly BSEs, they should be supported by clinical breast examinations (CBEs) performed by a physican every three years until age 40. At 40, women should have CBEs and screening mammograms every year.

The goal of BSEs is to detect breast cancers when they are at their earliest stages. Once breast cancers are large enough to cause symptoms, they are often more advanced than those detected during routine screening. Breast cancers caught during screening are usually smaller and less likely to have spread. For this reason, many health experts recommend monthly breast self-examinations as part of the screening process for breast cancer.
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