A clinical breast exam is performed by a healthcare professional who is trained to recognize many different types of abnormalities and warning signs. Our Direct Primary Care doctor in Raleigh will perform this in-office exam as a part of your annual exam, or separately if you or your physician believe you may be at increased risk.
Note: Your breast self-exam is something very important and every woman should have a healthy habit of doing it once a month at home.
Clinical Breast exams performed at our primary care clinic are an extremely crucial part of early detection. Although most lumps can be discovered through breast self-exams, an experienced professional may notice a suspicious place that fails to register as a warning in the patient’s mind.
During a clinical breast exam your direct primary care doctor will perform:
A visual check of your breasts’ appearance - skin and tissue.
You may be asked to raise your arms over your head, let them hang by your sides, or press your hands against your hips. These postures allow your healthcare provider to look for differences in size or shape between your breasts. The skin covering your breasts is checked for any rash, dimpling, or other abnormal signs. Your nipples may be checked to see if fluid is expressed when lightly squeezed.
A Manual Check for Unusual Texture or Lumps
Using the pads of the fingers, your healthcare provider checks your entire breast, underarm, and collarbone area for any lumps or abnormalities. It is worth noting that some women have breast tissue that appears to be full of tiny fibrous bumps or ridges throughout the breast tissue, known as fibrocystic breasts. Overall lumpy tissue is something your provider will want to note but is unrelated to cancer.
The manual exam is done on one side and then the other. Your healthcare provider will also check the lymph nodes near the breast to see if they are enlarged.
An Assessment of Any Suspicious Area
If a lump is discovered, your healthcare provider will note its size, shape, and texture. He or she will also check to see if the lump moves easily. Benign lumps often feel different from cancerous ones, but any lump found will likely need to be examined with further diagnostic measures.
Early detection is crucial in the treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Schneider performs a Clinical Breast Exam and refers patients 40 years or older to get mammography if any abnormality is noticed during the clinical exam.
Please watch this video about diagnostic methods for Breast Health Awareness:
What Happens During a Mammogram procedure
A mammogram is an X-ray image of your breast to detect abnormalities, tumors or early signs of breast cancer. It is a crucial screening or diagnostic test for women, especially if you have a history of cancer in the family.
A mammogram screening takes about 20 minutes and may entail some discomfort. You'll need to remove your top and place your breasts between two plates, as guided by a technician or a doctor.
The plates keep your breast still and steady as it takes the images. However, these plates will have to compress your breast to properly shoot a high-quality image of the tissues. As a result, there could some pain while you're on the mammogram but you have to be perfectly still so that the film will be able to properly capture the images.
Normally, the healthcare provider will need two images per breast but more images might be needed for women with larger or implanted breasts. The compression, in general, will only take seconds.
The X-ray film images will then be examined by the doctor and the radiographer to see if there are any cancerous tissues. You can know the result of the screening in 7 to 10 days, depending on the facility.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer commonly develops as a lump or mass that may be soft or hard, round or irregularly-shaped, and tender. The lump may or may not cause any pain and in some cases, it can look like skin dimpling.
Some symptoms of breast cancer also include:
- Nipple retraction
- Nipple redness
- Flakes or thickening skin around the nipple
- Nipple discharge
- Swollen lymph nodes under the arms or near the collar bone on the chest
In order to be able to perform a full and correct assessment of your breasts’ health, your direct primary care doctor in Raleigh may also ask you to take a blood test, ultrasound, MRI scan and breast biopsy for further diagnosis.
When breast cancer is caught early, the chances of winning the fight against cancer is higher. In fact, the American Cancer Society stated that breast cancer diagnosed at stage 0 or 1 has a 99 percent survival rate.
Learn more about direct primary care in Raleigh
Early detection is crucial in the treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Schneider performs a Clinical Breast Exam and refers patients 40 years or older to get mammography if any abnormality is noticed during the clinical exam. Don’t hesitate to consult our private pay doctor in Raleigh if you would like more information about the procedure.
Aside from a friendly environment and modern facilities, membership to the Schneider Medical Group has other perks. These include having unlimited visits, getting a comprehensive diagnosis, and benefiting from a more personalized patient care. Book an appointment now or call us at 919-301-8971.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.