Why should I do a breast self-exam?

Jessica L. Keto, MD
Surgical Oncology
A breast self-exam (BSE) is the first line of detection for breast cancer. In this video, Jessica Keto, MD, FACS, of Mercy Health, explains the importance of regular breast self-exams in helping you to identify small changes.

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While there has been some data indicating that advocating monthly breast self-exams may lead to more invasive tests, knowing the "landscape" of your breast can help detect abnormalities. Having an idea what feels "normal" in your breast tissue may allow you to indicate when something does not feel quite right. If you have a concern, then make an appointment with your physician to talk it over and have a professional do an exam.
Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery

Breast self-exam is important for women to do on a monthly basis, at the same time of month, to identify when changes in the breast occur. Early detection of changes can help detect cancer or disease earlier which helps improve outcomes.  

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

Breast self-exams are extremely important in women in order to act as a first line of defense in diagnosing a malignant tumor. Women should perform their self-breast examinations the day after their period ends and the same day should be done monthly. Self-breast examination requires palpation with 2 fingers of the entire breast mound, including the axillary region, in order to detect for lymph node involvement.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.