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Breast Exam Specialist

Capital Women's Care

OBGYNs located in Manassas, Haymarket and Fairfax, VA

Breast exams are important in detecting breast cancer, and it could potentially save your life. At Capital Women’s Care, with three convenient locations in Fairfax, Manassas, and Haymarket, Virginia, the expert team of medical providers offers a wide range of gynecology & OB/GYN services, including breast exams. For more information, call your nearest location today or book online to schedule an appointment.

Breast Exam Q & A

What is a breast exam?

A breast exam is a screening that is used by doctors in an attempt to detect early breast cancer. This method will involve the woman’s doctor to look at and feel each breast for any possible lumps, distortions or swelling. 

Detecting breast cancer in the early stages and most curable state could save the lives of many women. There are three methods that a woman can utilize that will detect early warning signs that all women should get used to practicing. 

These include monthly self-breast exams, an annual breast exam by your healthcare medical professional, and routine regular mammograms.

What is a self-breast exam?

All women who are 20 years of age and older should perform a breast self-exam each month. This should be done 2-3 days after you have completed your monthly period cycle or on the same date every month if you happen to no longer have periods. 

Monthly breast self-exam will help you to learn the way that your breasts normally look and feel and it also allows you to notice if there happen to be any changes.

The following changes should immediately be reported to your health care provider. If you happen to develop breast cancer, these are precancerous signs to keep a lookout for:

  • A new lump in or near the breast or under your arm
  • Thickening or swelling on part of your breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of the skin on your breast
  • Redness or flaky skin on or around the nipple or breast
  • Pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk that occurs without squeezing
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area on the breast

Please do keep in mind that some of these warning signs can occur with other possible conditions that are not cancer but should be discussed with your doctor to make sure.

What is an annual breast exam?

An annual breast exam should be part of every yearly health exam for all women that are 20 years of age and older. 

During the clinical breast exam, your doctor or nurse will carefully feel your breasts and under your arms. They will be checking for any lumps and any other changes that may seem abnormal. 

During the breast exam, your doctor or medical provider can show you the correct way to perform a breast self-exam. Do not be shy and ask them for help.

What is a mammogram?

Mammograms are the best method that is currently available to detect breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stage. A mammogram is a screening that is done on an X-ray machine and will look at the breast in a woman who currently has no breast complaints. 

The primary goal of screening mammography is to find and detect cancer when it is too small to be felt by a self-breast examination or by a clinical breast exam. 

Finding small breast cancers early on by utilizing a screening mammogram will greatly improve your chance for a successful treatment. 

Mammograms produce high-quality X-ray images with a low dosage of radiation. The breast will be positioned between two plastic plates to flatten your breast tissue. This also allows for a lower dose of X-ray radiation. 

This may be temporarily uncomfortable, but it only lasts for a few seconds, and the entire mammogram appointment will only take about 20 minutes.

To schedule your breast exam today, call Capital Women's Care or book online today.