Breast Self-Exam Topic Guide
Breast Self-Exam: Monthly breast self-examinations (BSE) have not been shown to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer. However, a monthly breast self-exam is important for a woman to become familiar with her breasts and any changes that may occur over time that may signal a breast disease or condition. Symptoms and signs to look for when performing a breast self-exam are nipple discharge; red, swollen, scaly, or itchy nipples or breast tissue; sudden breast pain that does not go away; changes in breast size or shape; dimpling of the breast or nipple; or a lump or lumps in the breast. Notify your health-care professional if you detect any unusual changes in your breasts.
Breast (Anatomy and Function) The breast generally refers to the chest, however, more specifically, to the mammary gland. The mammary gland is a milk producing gland comprised largely of fat. Within the mammary gland is a complex network of branching ducts. The ducts exit from sac-like structures called lobules, which can produce milk in females. The darkened area around the nipple is called the areola. Common medical concerns in regard to the breast include breast lumps, breast cysts, breast cancer, and breast infections.
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