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Breast Self Exam:
Your Breast Cancer Check

Breast cancer is easier to treat when it is found early. Women who conduct self breast exams or receive clinical breast exams in Atlanta will find the resources they need at Emory Decatur Hospital. We recommend women follow guidelines of the American Cancer Society for monthly breast self exam beginning in their 20s to look for new lumps and other changes. These breast exams have limitations, however, and are NOT a substitute for regular breast exams from your doctor or screening mammograms.

If a self breast exam results in a suspicious lump or other change in the breast, you may need to schedule additional breast exams in Atlanta at Emory Decatur Hospital. This might include a clinical exam by a healthcare provider and a diagnostic mammogram. In some cases, a breast MRI may be ordered by your physician.

Breast Self Exam

Because a woman is familiar with her body and often can detect even the slightest change, this self exam can result in early detection of a cancer. Keep in mind, however, that most changes are not cancerous. It’s best to perform monthly self breast exams three to five days after your period, when your breasts are the least tender and lumpy. Women should report any changes in how their breasts look or feel to their health professional right away.

Breast Exam Schedule

Emory Decatur Hospital recommends women follow the American Cancer Society’s breast exam schedule for finding breast cancer early in women without symptoms.

If you have symptoms of breast cancer, call the experts at Emory Decatur Hospital. Dial 404.501.EASY to talk with a specially trained nurse who can discuss your concerns and make sure you receive prompt medical care. We'll see to it that you have an immediate mammogram and a convenient appointment with a physician who specializes in breast care - all usually within 24 hours.

Breast Health Glossary

Cysts – fluid-filled sacs that often feel like soft grapes and can sometimes be tender, especially just before your menstrual period.

Fibroadenomas – non-cancerous lumps that feel rubbery and are easily moveable within the breast tissue. Like fibrocystic changes, they occur most often during the reproductive years.

Fibrocystic breast disease – common, benign (non-cancerous) changes in the tissues of the breast. This does not increase your chances of having breast cancer.

Mammogram – an x-ray picture of the breasts used to find tumors and to help tell the difference between non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) disease.

Mastitis – an infection of the breast tissue that usually occur in women who are breastfeeding.

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