Any patient who calls our office complaining of a new breast problem should be seen for an appointment within 24-48 hours.
Luckily, most breast issues are benign (not cancerous) however they do need evaluation. CLICK HERE to learn more about benign breast problems.
Understandably, the primary worry for any patient with a new breast problem is, of course, to rule out breast cancer. The best test to detect breast cancer is yet to be discovered. Until then, your annual exam should include a conversation with your doctor to determine when and how frequently mammograms should be performed.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the following for low-risk women: a clinical breast exam by a medical provider every year and a mammogram every year (but no more than 2 years apart) beginning at age 40. Women at higher risk (strong family history, etc.) should be screened earlier than age 40. The clinical breast exam (breast exam by a physician) is included as part of the routine annual physical exam (put a link to that page here). However, if you are having a breast issue or problem, a clinical breast exam can be done at any time.
Nash Breast Care Center
Our physicians can send an order for mammography and other testing to any facility of your choice, however, many of our patients choose to use Nash Breast Care Center, located in the same building as our office. Nash Breast Care Center has experienced and knowledgeable nurse navigators who will help guide you through the process should you need any treatment for your breast problem. They also offer free genetic counseling with a genetic counselor from UNC via telemedicine for patients who are at increased risk for breast cancer. You must have a physician’s order for genetic counseling so please speak to your physician to see if this is right for you.
Learn more about mammograms and other screening tests for breast problems:
Do I need to get a mammogram every year? Read Dr. Hancock's Blog Post >
One way to monitor your breast health is by “Breast Self-Awareness” or being aware of what your normal breast tissue is like. By knowing what is normal for you, you will more readily notice if anything changes. Learn more >