What is the most important requisite in performing proper breast examination?

If you're a woman, your doctor or gynecologist may have recommended that you examine your breasts every month to check for lumps. You might be wondering, why do I need to do a breast self-exam? Or, you might ask, how do I examine my breasts, and what exactly am I looking for? Well, let's talk about why, and how to examine your breasts. Why examine your breasts? Well, for one thing, it helps you get an idea of how they normally feel. Then if there's ever a problem, you'll be familiar enough with your breasts to spot it. For example, a lump on your breast could be a sign of breast cancer. Finding that lump could allow you to get checked out with a mammogram earlier than you might have done if you didn't do breast self exams. But, this is a two edged sword. Many expert groups no longer recommend routine breast self examination because the consequences of over treatment of benign or normal lumps may outweigh the benefits of early detection. Lumps lead to extra mammograms, which often lead to biopsies, and the biopsies turn out to be benign, or normal, in more than 90% of cases. But, not always. Some expert groups simply recommend breast self awareness. Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you are going to do breast self exam, the best day to do a self exam is about 3 to 5 days after your period ends. Your breasts are naturally less lumpy right after your period, so there's less of a chance that you'll mistake a normal bump for an abnormal growth. If you've already gone through menopause and your periods have stopped, just do your exam on the same day every month. Mark it on your calendar so you won't forget. To do the exam, lie on your back, as it's easier to feel any lumps or changes when you're lying down. First, put your right hand behind your head. Then, using the middle fingers on your left hand, gently but firmly press down, circling your entire breast. Make sure you cover the whole right breast. Squeeze your nipple gently. See if any fluid comes out. Now, sit up, and feel around your armpit. When you're done with the right breast, repeat the whole check on the left side. Next, stand in front of a mirror. With your arms down at your sides, look at both breasts. Check the shape of each breast. Look for any changes in the skin, like dimpling or puckering. Also see if your nipples now turn inward. Now, do the exact same check again with your arms over your head. After you've done a few breast self-exams, you'll become familiar with the look and shape of your breasts. At each exam, you're looking for anything different, like new bumps, changes in the texture of your skin, or discharge from your nipple. If you do notice that something has changed, don't panic, it could mean many different things. But, call your doctor as soon as you can so you can find out what's caused the change, and, if necessary, get it treated.

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What is the most important requisite in performing proper breast examination?

Once A Month

Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month.  Johns Hopkins Medical center states,

“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes.

What is the most important requisite in performing proper breast examination?

How Should A Breast Self-Exam Be Performed?

What is the most important requisite in performing proper breast examination?

1) In the Shower 

With the pads/flats of your 3 middle fingers, check the entire breast and armpit area pressing down with light, medium, and firm pressure. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, hardened knot, or any other breast changes.

What is the most important requisite in performing proper breast examination?

2) In Front of a Mirror 

Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.

Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

What is the most important requisite in performing proper breast examination?

3) Lying Down

When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently covering the entire breast area and armpit.

Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

Can I Rely On Breast Self-Exams Alone To Be Sure I Am Breast Cancer Free?

Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection. But when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider.

If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic — 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.

What is the most important requisite in performing proper breast examination?

Medically Reviewed on April 15, 2020

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What is the proper technique to perform a breast exam?

Breast self-exam.
Use the pads of your fingers. Use the pads, not the very tips, of your three middle fingers for the exam. ... .
Use different pressure levels. Your goal is to feel different depths of the breast by using different levels of pressure to feel all the breast tissue. ... .
Take your time. Don't rush. ... .
Follow a pattern..

What should a nurse look for when examining patient's breasts?

Breast inspection.
With the patient seated and arms at sides, visualize both breasts noting the skin color, any rashes or lesions, skin thickness, size, and symmetry. ... .
Observe breast contour, including dimpling, masses, or flattening..
Inspect the nipples and areolae for discharge, size, shape, inversion, or lesions..

What is the main purpose of breast assessment?

The goal of the breast examination is to determine if the breasts are normal or abnormal. If abnormal, any or all of the following may be indicated: surgical consultation, reexamination at a different time of the menstrual cycle, mammograms, and possibly ultrasound.

When performing a breast examination what are important areas to palpate?

Following a complete exam of the breast, the axilla and supraclavicular area should be palpated for lymphadenopathy. Lymph node abnormalities may present in a variety of forms, but most often any palpable nodes of concern will be slightly enlarged and have a somewhat firmer texture than the typical soft, rubbery one.