You’ve probably heard that you should be checking your breasts once a month every month to look for signs of cancers or others problems. But do you really know what you are looking for? Can you tell what’s normal and what isn’t?
Many women aren’t sure they can and many women aren’t sure what they’re supposed to be doing during that monthly check. Often, they just give up.
Don’t Give Up
ella health has a new program to show women how to do a breast self-exam the right way using a life-like model that you can keep. This one-on-one personalized instruction provides you with the techniques you need to detect even small cancers or other concerns earlier.
“What we have found is that even with all of the materials out there, many women aren’t sure how to do a breast self-exam, and some don’t even try because they don’t know what they are looking for,” said ella health Director of Clinical Services Eileen Ann Morgans, RN, BSN, CBCN. “This is a significant thing that women can do to take care of themselves, and it’s important that they are able to do it right.”
A Model to Feel the Difference
The realistic model is an important tool in showing women exactly what they are looking for. It has lumps of various sizes to highlight the difference between normal and potentially cancerous tissue. You can take it home so you have a reference.
“This model is great because it allows women to feel for themselves what is okay and what they should be alarmed about, Morgans said. “With the instruction and this model as a reference point, women will have more confidence that they can check themselves.”
Follow up in Six Months
Through this program, women are given a follow-up visit in six months to review their self-exam technique and go over any questions.
Beyond a Mammogram
The program includes a clinical breast exam that should be conducted annually in addition to a mammogram. While a mammogram shows the structures of the breast, during a clinical breast exam the practitioner will thoroughly cover the outer areas of breast tissue and check the external appearance. She is looking for a lump or change in the breast that may indicate a cancer or other problems that may need further evaluation such as an infection or benign tumor.
The exam takes about thirty minutes. The practitioner will first ask you about any problems youmay have and your medical history and risk factors for breast cancer. Next, she will examine each breast, underarm and collarbone area.
As with a mammogram, The American Cancer Society recommends a clinical breast exam annually for women over age 40. Women over 20 should have a clinical breast exam every three years.
For more information on the Clinical Breast Exam & Breast Self-Exam Education program, or to schedule an appointment, please visit our website or call:
In Tom’s River: 1-848-221-8209
In Lemoyne: 1-717-695-9464