Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Clinical Breast Examination

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Your menstrual cycle. The changes in your body that occur during your menstrual cycle may make your breast tissue feel or look different.
  • Having fibrocystic lumps. Fibrocystic lumps make a clinical breast examination hard to do because many lumps are present in the breast.

What To Think About

  • Many women normally have breast pain during their periods (cyclic breast pain).
  • A normal clinical breast examination does not mean that breast cancer is not present. Depending on your age and your personal and family history of breast cancer, your health professional may do other tests, such as a mammogram.

Other Works Consulted

  • American Cancer Society (2011). Cancer Facts and Figures 2011. Atlanta: American Cancer Society. Available online: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-029771.pdf.

  • American Cancer Society (2011). Prevention and Early Detection Facts and Figures 2011. Atlanta: American Cancer Society. Available online: http://www.cancer.org/Research/CancerFactsFigures/CancerPreventionEarlyDetectionFactsFigures/cancer-prevention-early-detection-facts-figures-2011.

  • Saslow D, et al. (2004). Clinical breast examination: Practical recommendations for optimizing performance and reporting. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 54: 327–344.

  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2009). Screening for breast cancer. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsbrca.htm.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer C. Dale Mercer, MD, FRCSC, FACS - General Surgery
Last Revised February 27, 2012
1 | 2 | 3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

woman looking in mirror
Article
Woman resting on fitness ball
Evaluator
 
woman collapsed over laundry
Quiz
Public restroom door sign
Slideshow
 
Couple with troubles
Article
cat on couch
Evaluator
 
Young woman being vaccinated
Slideshow
woman holding hand to ear
Slideshow
 
Blood pressure check
Slideshow
mother and daughter talking
Evaluator
 
intimate couple
Article
puppy eating
Slideshow