Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Early detection of breast cancer is critical for improving survival rates. The clinical breast exam (CBE) is an important component of breast cancer screening. This article provides an overview of the importance of CBE, its procedure, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Importance of CBE:
CBE is a physical examination of the breast and surrounding tissue performed by a healthcare provider. It is a cost-effective and non-invasive screening method for breast cancer. CBE can help detect breast cancer at an early stage, allowing for timely treatment and improved outcomes.
Procedure of CBE:
During a CBE, a healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination of your breasts. The provider will look for any lumps or abnormalities in the breasts and surrounding tissue. They will also check for changes in the size or shape of the breasts, as well as any changes in the skin or nipple. The provider may also perform a lymph node exam to check for any signs of cancer spread to the lymph nodes.
Interpretation of Clinical Breast Exam (CBE)
During a CBE, the healthcare provider will note any abnormalities or changes in the breasts and surrounding tissue. It is important to note that not all breast lumps or abnormalities are cancerous. In fact, the majority of breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous). The following table provides a general guideline for interpreting the findings of a CBE:
|Suspicious lump||Further evaluation recommended|
|Skin or nipple changes||Further evaluation recommended|
|Lymph node enlargement||Further evaluation recommended|
Who should get a CBE?
The American Cancer Society recommends that women between the ages of 20 and 39 have a CBE performed by a healthcare provider every three years. Women over the age of 40 should have a CBE performed annually.