The breast self-exam (BSE) can be a valuable tool for some women in early detection of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor to explore whether doing monthly self-exams beginning at age 20 is right for you. It can be part of a program that includes a regular breast exam by a medical professional and age/health-appropriate mammography.

There are a number of good reasons women may consider learning and practicing breast self-exams. Before age 40, women should get to know how their breasts normally look and feel, so they’ll be aware of any changes. And although clinical exams and mammography are proven and significant tools in early detection, there are some breast tissue changes — a small percentage — that are not visible on a mammogram but will be detected by a woman or her health care provider through a physical exam.

The real goal of breast self-exam is to be aware of any changes and report them to your doctor immediately. Many breast cancers that are found and treated early result in good outcomes.

View a breast self-exam video from Susan G. Komen

Mammogram Appointments

Mammograms and the COVID-19 Vaccine – What You Should Know

Swelling of the lymph nodes is a known side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although it is temporary and not harmful, these enlarged lymph nodes may be seen on your mammogram. Because swollen lymph nodes can indicate breast cancer, we may call you back for additional evaluation and possible follow-up imaging. To avoid this, please schedule your mammogram before your first COVID-19 vaccination or four weeks after your second-dose vaccination.

Virtual Visits Are Available

Safe and convenient virtual visits by video let you get the care you need via a mobile device, tablet or computer wherever you are. We’ll gather your medical records for you and get our experts’ input so we can offer treatment options without an in-person visit. To schedule a virtual visit, call 1-866-680-0505.

Cancer and the COVID-19 Vaccine

There is currently no data that suggests current or former cancer patients should avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Cancer can weaken your immune system, so we recommend that most patients get the vaccine as soon as possible.