Sex Terms

Breast Self-Exam

An exam performed by a health care provider, where the breasts are visually and manually checked for unusual lumps, swelling or discharge. There are two types of breast exams: one is done by a health care provider and the other is a breast self-exam. The purpose of a breast self-exam is to have a girl familiarize herself with her own body, so if she does feel anything unusual, she can have it checked out by a health care provider. Breast exams help health care providers, women and girls identify noncancerous growths, like cysts, as well as breast cancer, which is extremely rare in teen girls. While breast cancer is more common in women over 40, it does occur in men as well. Women and girls should perform breast self-exams once a month. A good rule for a girl to follow is to do the exam a week after her period. Learn how to perform a breast self-exam.

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