Self Breast Exam

2 May

The focus of my blog is on aesthetic medicine, and in posts to come, I will be talking about reconstructive surgery post-mastectomy. Because this is such a sensitive issue, I thought the best way to discuss reconstructive surgery was to start with some medical information. Not all plastic surgery is done in the name of vanity. I think that it’s important to remember this. It is a major decision to have plastic surgery, and in the wake of such a difficult diagnosis, it is (I’m sure) the last thing on a woman’s mind to be booking, but I’m not sure it’s the last thing they think about. To many women, breasts and hair are a physical association of what makes them a woman.

I would venture to guess everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is a very difficult and prevalent issue among women of all ages, races, and socio-economic classes. Detecting cancer early greatly influences outcomes, and therefore self exams should be preformed monthly.

Breast Examination

Visual inspection should be done with and without a hand mirror to check for changes in contour or texture.

Manual inspection should be performed to note any changes in thickness or lumps. It should be done both in standing and reclining positions.

 

 

When Cancer is suspected…

If cancer is suspected, a needle biopsy is performed to confirm the diagnosis by evaluating the tissue to determine if there are cancerous cells.

 

Treatment is based on many factors, including type and stage of the cancer, the cancer’s sensitivity to certain hormones, and the over-expression of a gene called HER2/neu. Treatment choice should always be discussed with a professional.

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