Should I do breast self-exams if I'm a young woman?

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The United States Preventative Service Task force has made a recommendation that there is insufficient evidence to show self breast exams are beneficial. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends breast self-awareness. This is where a woman should know her own body including her breasts, and should report any changes to her physician. This can be said for anything of concern anywhere on the body.

Young women should definitely do breast self-exams (BSE). Ideally, a women should start doing breast BSE as soon as she develops breasts.

Knowing what the normal breast feels like is the key to detecting the kind of changes in the breast that need a doctor's attention. Most health care professionals recommend starting BSE at age 21. This is a reasonable recommendation since cancer rarely occurs in women who are younger than age 21.

It is important that young women do BSE 5-10 days after the onset of their menstrual period. This the time when breast is least tender and lumpy. Young women should avoid doing BSE just before the onset of their period since this is the time when the breast is most tender and lumpy. Many women are never taught how to do a proper BSE.

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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.