A breast exam is just as important as any other routine examination. This examination enables you to detect any changes in your breasts, which may help identify any serious conditions, including breast cancer. Therefore, it is crucially important to stay up-to-date with your breast exams. The good news is that there are various places you can get a breast exam. Continue reading this article to learn where to get a breast exam.
Clinic or hospital
You can get a breast exam at any clinic or hospital in your area. In this place, you can get a free breast exam from a doctor. The examination may take only a few minutes and would typically involve a physical examination of your breasts to check for any unusual lumps or bumps. The doctor will ask you to remove your clothing above your waist, and your breasts will be examined with a thorough manual feel.
Planned Parenthood is another place where you can go for your breast exam. It may be a good option if you don’t have insurance or if you are on a tight budget. At Planned Parenthood, you can get a breast exam for free or at a low cost. You can check their website to find a clinic near you or give them a call.
You can also go to imaging centers like X-ray or mammography centers for your breast exam. If you’re over 40 or have any other risk factors, you may be recommended for a mammogram. A mammogram is a type of imaging test that uses low-dose X-rays to detect any abnormalities in your breast. The imaging centers are equipped with the latest technology, and the staff is specially trained for breast exams.
Mobile clinics are available in some areas or communities, offering free health services to those who need help. These clinics can be a great option for women who live in remote or underserved areas or who have little access to healthcare centers. Mobile clinics mostly provide breast exams, and you can check their mobile schedule and location on their website or call the clinic for more information.
Your doctor’s office
You can also visit your general practitioner or gynecologist for your breast exam. They are usually the first line of defense when it comes to your overall health. During your visit, your doctor will ask you about your general health and any concerns you may have regarding your breast health. They’ll perform a standard breast exam and provide you with the necessary information about mammograms and other diagnostic tests.
You can conduct a breast exam on yourself. A self-exam is a way you can monitor your breasts and detect any changes that need medical attention. By performing routine breast self-exams, you can learn how your breasts typically look and feel and notice any changes from the norm. Experts suggest performing self-exams once a month, preferably in the shower. If you notice anything unusual, speak with your doctor immediately.
Online guides to self-exams
There are websites that provide guidance on how to conduct a breast self-exam. You can find helpful online guides that provide step-by-step instructions and illustrations that demonstrate how to perform a breast self-exam. These guides can help make self-exams more comfortable for you.
Women’s health fairs
Women’s health fairs are commonly held to promote and offer health screenings to women. These events are a great way to get a free or low-cost breast exam. You can get information regarding the event from local hospitals or clinics, and you can also check health department websites for upcoming events. This is a great opportunity to receive free health evaluations, mammograms, and other diagnostic tests.
Several non-profit organizations focus on providing free or low-cost breast exams to women, especially those without insurance or means to pay. The non-profit organization may have an agreement with local clinics or hospitals to provide free breast exams to eligible individuals. You can research these organizations online or ask your local hospital or clinic for more information.
What to expect during a breast exam
During a standard breast exam, you’ll be asked questions about your family history of cancer, and you might be asked to describe any symptoms you’ve been experiencing, such as breast pain, nipple discharge, or lumps.
The doctor will perform a standard physical exam by manually examining your breasts. You’ll be asked to undress from the waist up, and the doctor will examine your breasts visually and manually for any visual signs and feel for any abnormal lumps.
The doctor may also perform a mammogram or other imaging tests, depending on your age and risk factors. Mammography is a low-dose X-ray that can detect unusual masses or changes in the breast tissue that are too small or subtle to be detected by physical exams.
Benefits of regular breast exams
The most significant benefit of regular breast exams is the early detection of breast cancer. Most breast cancers are curable if detected early. To detect breast cancer early and increase your chances of successful treatment, women should have regular breast exams by a healthcare professional and conduct monthly self-exams.
Improved quality of life
Strong evidence suggests that routine breast exams can lead to improved quality of life because of the early detection of the disease. When you detect cancer early, you have a better chance to defeat it and less chance of developing serious complications that could significantly affect your quality of life.
Early diagnosis of breast cancer can save your life. Many women have been saved by early detection and early intervention.
Peace of mind
Women who have been regularly monitored for breast cancer have a higher level of peace of mind as they have received the correct information regarding their breast health.
When breast cancer is detected early, it can be treated faster, and those affected have more time to adapt to the necessary treatment methods, cope with the changes, and establish a new normal.
Regular breast exams are essential in the early detection of breast cancer. There are numerous locations to get a breast exam, including clinics, hospitals, imaging centers, mobile clinics, Planned Parenthood centers, and more. Additionally, women can perform self-exams at home or attend women’s health fairs to get a free or low-cost breast exam. By proactively seeking regular breast exams, women can improve their quality of life and catch serious conditions early.
- 1. How often should I get a breast exam?
It is recommended that women over the age of 40 have a mammogram once a year. Younger women with a history of breast cancer should check with their healthcare provider about how often they should get a mammogram.
- 2. How often should I perform a breast self-exam?
It is recommended that women perform a breast self-exam monthly. This can help women become familiar with their breasts and note any changes that may require medical attention.
- 3. At what age should I start getting mammograms?
It is recommended that women at average risk for breast cancer start getting mammograms at age 40.
- 4. What happens during a mammogram?
During a mammogram, the breast is compressed between two plates, and an X-ray machine takes pictures of the breast. This helps the medical professional take a closer look for any abnormalities that may be present.
- 5. How often should I get a clinical breast exam?
It is recommended that women get a clinical breast exam every one to three years in their 20s and 30s and every year for women over 40.
- CDC, “Breast Cancer: What Women Need to Know,” https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/index.htm
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, “Breast Self-Exam,” https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam
- Planned Parenthood, “Breast Exams,” https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/menstruation/breast-exams
- Mayo Clinic, “Breast Self-Exam for Breast Awareness,” https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/breast-exam/about/pac-20393237
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, “Clinical Breast Exam,” https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/clinical-breast-exam
- Low Income Relief, “How to Find a Low-Cost Mammogram Near Me Today,” https://lowincomerelief.com/free-mammograms-near-me/