It’s #PinkOctober and that means there’s breast cancer awareness education everywhere that you turn.
If you’ve never been screened for breast cancer, it’s likely that one of the reasons why you haven’t gotten screened yet is because you just don’t know where to go get checked for breast cancer.
The other reason why you may not have gone for your own breast cancer screening yet is that you don’t know what to expect. In that case, here’s what you need to know about getting a breast cancer screening.
There are three main ways that you can get screened for breast cancer
When it comes to early detection nothing beats performing a self-examination whenever you have the chance just because of how often you do that. However, whenever the chance does arise you should get yourself checked by a healthcare professional. There are three ways that doctors/nurses check for breast cancer. They are the physical exam, the ultrasound or the mammogram, but the mammogram is reserved for women above 40 years old.
You’re likely to get a physical exam
The first and more common type of screening that you might undergo is the physical exam. This is when the doctor checks your breasts with their hands for any early warning signs. It’s not that different than a self-examination, except you’re not the one doing it. You’re free to ask for a chaperon during the physical examination. This is basically someone who would be present as a witness to the exam to prevent anything inappropriate.
The ultrasound is usually done when doctors are suspicious
If there’s a problem found during your physical exam, an ultrasound is done to find out if the lump is actually a solid tumour. If it isn’t (in which case it’s a cyst filled with liquid) then there’s nothing to worry about. If it’s a tumour, early detection opens up treatment options that would otherwise be unavailable if the tumour is caught later