Back to Basics: Three People Who Know Your Breasts
Who are these three special someones?
You know you better than anyone else. You may be the first to notice a suspicious change in your breast’s appearance. Doing monthly self-exams is important in getting to know your body. Are your breasts “lumpy-bumpy” or smooth? Focally tender or not? Nipples unchanged in appearance? In addition to those monthly breast checks, you’ll take care of your whole body, which will help lower your risk for breast cancer with exercise, a healthy diet and taking time for relaxing!
Your Primary Healthcare Provider.
This is your go-to person. Your primary healthcare provider will perform your yearly clinical breast exams. If you do notice a change in your breast, review of your history and a careful clinical exam will guide what is done next. This is the place to start if you have concerns about your personal risk for breast cancer.
Whether you’re coming in for a screening mammogram or being evaluated for a breast complaint with diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound or breast MRI, your breast radiologist is the one interpreting all the images of your breast. Whether images are taken with low-dose x-ray technology, sound waves or using magnetic resonance, your radiologist will help make sure the right study is done at the right time with the right technique. Your radiologist spends years training in all aspects of the imaging process – from start to finish. Biopsies of the breast are often performed with the guiding help or under the hands of your breast radiologist.
No (Wo)man Is An Island.
Breast health starts with you. But you are not alone. Your primary care provider and radiologist are there to help in the quest for your best possible health, and undertake this task with the help of a team of office personnel, nurses and/or technologists. This vast network of professionals may be the best support your breasts have – better than your favorite underwire!
Originally published 2/24/14 on mammographykc.com.