ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diagnosing Breast Cancer with Physical Examination

Updated on July 16, 2011

How breast cancer is diagnosed? This has been the most important question that remains in the mind of every woman around the world. Though there are several tests to confirm if a patient has breast cancer or not, but doing self breast examination on a regular basis or undergoing a physical examination by a gynecologist helps in prevention or at least early detection of this disease. Breast cancer is totally curable if treated on time. If the tumor has a tendency to spread to other body parts, the easiest way is to remove complete breast by mastectomy or removal of a diseased part of breast by lumpectomy. After all, life of an individual is more important than appearance and beauty of the body because if there will be life, there will be body. Below is how doctors diagnose breast cancer with physical examination for your education and awareness:

Physical Examination of Breasts

Inspection of breasts is done mostly by a gynecologist whether male or female as comfortable with the patient. With the patient in a seated position, the exam is carried out in different positions:

  • First with arms relaxing on the backside of body.
  • Second with shoulders higher to achieve contraction of the patient's chest.
  • Third with leaning forward. Doctors measure asymmetry, nipple retraction, and skin changes via these positions.

Steps To Perform Physical Examination of Breasts

  1. In the same position, doctors palpate the supra and infraclavicular regions and armpits followed by gentle palpation of breast in this area.
  2. Breast palpation is also performed with the patient supine and the ipsilateral arm extension above the head.
  3. Palpation is done with palmar surfaces of fingers following a radial path from nipple to periphery and exploring for any masses around the perimeter of the breast in a circular path.
  4. Doctors also pay particular attention to the inframammary fold (lowest part of breast) and axillary tail of breast.
  5. Finally, the examiner makes a gentle traction on both nipples.

 Though physical examination of breasts plays an important role in early detection of breast cancer, it has been revealed by several studies that doing self breast examination by females on their own helps in altering the mortality rates. Clinical examination including inspection and palpation of breasts has a specificity of 90%, but then also many cancers may go unnoticed at a ratio between 40% and 70% so it becomes useful to complement mammography for some lesions without calcifications, lesions that are imperceptible to the radiological study, or to detect lesions that occur in the interval between mammograms. Many medical research centers maintain the recommendation for regular clinical examination in addition to mammography at least between 50 and 69 years of age but then also many times it is left as individual choice.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 7 years ago from South Africa

      One can never be too careful. Had a scare last year, but luckily I discovered the lumps early on and they turned out to be only fibrocystic. Much to be grateful for.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)