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.
Choose a Buddy — and Help Beat Breast CancerLearn more about Buddy Check 6.
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.
Video Tool for Breast Exam
If you’ve had a conversation with your doctor and you want to do self-breast exams, this breast self-exam video from Susan G. Komen teaches you how to look and feel for any changes in your breasts.