Conveniently located in Woburn, MA and Wilmington, MA

The Importance of Not Skipping Your Breast Exams

Not Skipping Your Breast Exams  New England Women’s Healthcare

You’re diligent about the more mundane appointments in your life, from your oil changes to your children’s piano lessons. You should be equally as mindful about your regular breast exams, especially if you consider that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer.

We know that scare tactics aren’t a great way to start a conversation, but our team here at New England Women’s Healthcare believes strongly in safeguarding the health of our patients in and around Woburn, Massachusetts. And one of the easiest ways to do that is through regular screening for dangerous diseases, such as breast cancer. With cancer of any kind, the earlier we can detect the problem, the more successfully we can treat it.

With that in mind, here’s a look at how often you should undergo a breast exam, and what type of exam would be best for your situation.

Women with low risk

While some cancers seem to strike out of nowhere, others are influenced by certain risk factors, such as genetics, history, and gene mutations. Breast cancer, unfortunately, falls somewhere in between, which means that even if you don’t fall into a high-risk category, regular breast exams are still an incredibly wise move.

As a frontline measure, we routinely perform clinical breast examinations as part of your yearly wellness visit. This is done through palpation of your breasts to check for any abnormalities in your tissue — a process that is completely painless. This clinical examination is just another reason why you should keep up with your annual women’s wellness exams.

The next level of breast exam is a mammogram, which is a low-level X-ray of your breast tissue. We urge women over the age of 40 to make mammograms part of their regular screening process. Depending on your medical history, we suggest establishing a baseline mammogram when you reach your 40s, and then we can come up with a schedule going forward.

Women with higher risk

As we mentioned earlier, there are a few factors that may place you at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, including:

If you fall into any of these categories, the odds are that we’re going to want to stay on top of your breast cancer screening more vigilantly. Depending on your unique situation, we may suggest earlier, and more aggressive screenings, starting at the age of 30. By aggressive we don’t mean painful, but rather more aggressive technology, like an MRI. With an MRI, we get a clearer picture of your breast tissue, allowing us to spot even the smallest aberration.

This doesn’t mean that you stop your mammograms, however, as these are still an extremely effective detection tool.

The bottom line is that every woman is different, with different considerations, which is why we sit down with each of our patients to come up with a tailored breast exam schedule.

If you’d like to stay one step ahead of breast cancer, give us a call or use the online scheduling tool to set up your breast exam today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does an Abnormal Pap Smear Mean I Have Cancer?

When your Pap smear comes back abnormal, it’s distressing, and maybe scary, to think you could have cancer. But does an abnormal Pap smear always indicate cervical cancer? Take a moment to learn some other causes of an abnormal Pap test.

How Does an IUD Work?

An IUD is a type of birth control that is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. But how does an IUD actually work? Take a moment to learn more about IUDs and how they’re so successful in preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Why You Can Gain Weight During PMS

You know the feeling when you’re getting your period — irritability, insatiable cravings, and of course, weight gain. But why do you seem to put on excess pounds before your period? Take a moment to learn why you gain weight during PMS.

Understanding Your Treatment Options For Menopause

When you’re going through the transition to menopause, your life changes significantly. Between the sleepless nights and mood swings, you’re looking for any kind of relief. Take a moment to learn how you can effectively treat your menopause symptoms.

Why Are Pap Smears Important?

A Pap smear is one of the most important tests when it comes to your cervical health. It can help you find signs of cancer early on, so you get the treatment you need. Take a moment to learn more about Pap smears.

Choosing Your Birthing Options

When you’re pregnant, there are many choices to make for your soon-to-be newborn. Before that, however, you have to decide how to bring your baby into the world. Learn more about your birthing options, and which one may be right for you.