Breast Examination
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One out of every eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This has increased from one out of every 20 women in 1960. How do you suspect you might have breast cancer?  In today’s 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses life-saving detection.

Ninety-five percent of women who detect breast cancer while it is confined to the breast will be alive five years later. Early detection greatly increases the chance of surviving breast cancer. A good three-step detection plan includes:

• Monthly breast self examination starting at age 20

• Clinical breast exams by a physician or other trained health care professional at least once per year and,

• Yearly mammograms for women at 40 years of age and older.

If you feel any breast masses or notice any other changes in the breast such as unusual dimpling of the skin, retraction of the nipple or inflammation and redness of the skin, report these immediately to your physician. More than 70 percent of all breast cancers are discovered by breast self-examination.

Mammograms typically take about 20 minutes, and the part where the breast is squeezed only takes a few seconds. You can still have breast cancer even with a negative mammogram. On the other hand, 80 to 85 percent of cancers are detected.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Ed Hill.