Self-examination of the breasts (inspection and palpation) does not replace the annual gynecological visit, nor the further exploration of mammography or ultrasound . It is a complementary personal step.
Why practice breast self-examination?
This self-examination of the breasts is above all a way to better understand her breasts, their anatomy, their texture and consistency, and their individual peculiarities. And to get involved in his health!
Indeed, any modification found (small ball, flow, skin rim ...) must lead to consultation. We think, of course, always cancer, but in most cases, the doctor found a benign cyst or mastosis (especially after 40 years), or adenofibroma (especially before 30 years) that should be monitored. Self-examination of the breasts should not be perceived as an anxiety-provoking inspection, but rather as an educational gesture of prevention testifying to a voluntary participation in its medical follow-up.
When to do breast self-examination?
When to do this breast self-examination? Every month is better, but every 2 or 3 months is good if you practice it correctly. It is done when the breast is flexible, 2 to 3 days after menstruation, and after menopause on a fixed date, at the beginning of the month, for example. We start at age 20 and continue as late as possible because the risk of breast cancer does not decrease with age.
Self-examination and cancer
Negative self-examination - nothing abnormal is found - should not dispense with going to a gynecology clinic once a year, let alone regular medical imaging tests (such as a mammogram).
An expert hand detects at best a thickness of 1 cm, while with the progress of the mammography, we are able to spot a beginning lesion of 2 or 3 mm! Mammography after 40 years, and even more so after the age of 50, remains the privileged examination for the detection of breast tumors. The clinical examination is complementary.
Discover in our file how to make a breast self-examination simple and effective!
To see: our video on the breast nodule:
A breast nodule means that there is a ball in the mammary gland, but it does not characterize the type of abnormality. So, when should you worry? We sought the advice of an expert, Dr. Marc Espié, oncologist.Do you want to share, share your experience or ask a question? Appointment in our FORUM Cancer , A doctor answers you or any other Theme Forum of your choice!
Author: Hélène Hodac. March 2014.
Expert consultant: Dr. Alain Tamborini, gynecologist. Author of "800 questions to the gynecologist", Marabout.
Update: Dorothee Gebele, October 11, 2016