Your Breast Care Calendar: Mammograms, Self-Exams and CBEs
Now that your new year’s calendar has settled – family birthdays have been marked with stickers and vacation days starred – it’s time to lay out your breast health calendar. So take out your day planner and outline how you’re going to take care of yourself…
If you track your menstrual cycle then tracking your monthly self-exams will be a piece of cake. Just put a mark approximately 7-9 days into your cycle. That’s when your breasts are least likely to be tender. For a handy self-exam how-to, look here.
The next two breast exams are annual, however, it’s nice to place them six months apart. The first is your clinical breast exam. This can be done in conjunction with your annual physical (because you’ve got that on your calendar too, yeah?). It’s a very easy procedure – very similar to your self-exams, only this is performed by a trained medical care provider. It’s also a great time to ask your doctor if you have any questions about how you perform your own exams – are you pressing hard enough, what to feel for, etc. Mention if you noticed changes during this exam.
The big deal annual breast exam is your screening mammogram. Remember, this is done when there are no signs of problems. This is done to catch a cancer before it shows itself. And the best part is, if you have a great radiology team, it’s easy as can be! A few seconds of compression per breast and you’re done! Voila.
That’s all. One year of breast health in a matter of collective minutes. Just remember to time things out to make you most comfortable. Your self-empowerment to act on behalf of your best possible health is one of your greatest assets!
Originally published 2/19/14 on mammographykc.com.