A breast exam performed by a woman’s primary physician should accompany her annual mammogram. At that time, the physician will also discuss her particular risk factors for developing breast cancer and evaluate any concerns about the monthly self breast exam or mammogram. A woman’s primary physician is her partner in maintaining good breast health!
For women who are at higher risk, such as those with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or a previous biopsy finding a high risk lesion, a more aggressive surveillance program may be warranted. This may involve the use of more sensitive imaging studies such as breast MRI, or a shorter screening interval starting at an earlier age. A breast cancer specialist can help determine the right strategy for early diagnosis in high risk women.