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What happens during a breast exam?

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Before your breast exam, your health care provider will ask you detailed questions about your health history, including your menstrual and pregnancy history. Questions might include what age you started menstruating, if you have children, and how old you were when your first child was born. A thorough breast exam will be performed. For the exam, you undress from the waist up. Your health care provider will look at your breasts for changes in size, shape, or symmetry. Your provider may ask you to lift your arms over your head, put your hands on your hips or lean forward. He or she will examine your breasts for any skin changes including rashes, dimpling, or redness. As you lay on your back with your arms behind your head, your health care provider will examine your breasts with the pads of the fingers to detect lumps or other changes. The area under both arms will also be examined. Your health care provider will gently press around your nipple to check for any discharge. If there is discharge, a sample may be collected for examination under a microscope.

From: Doctor's Breast Exam WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE:

The Cleveland Clinic: "Clinical Breast Examination."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 17, 2017

SOURCE:

The Cleveland Clinic: "Clinical Breast Examination."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 17, 2017

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