Many women with breast cancer don’t have symptoms, which is why annual clinical breast exams and monthly self-exams are so important. Board-certified OB/GYN Mary Kerr, MD, performs breast exams for women of all ages at her private practice in Beverly Hills, California. To schedule your breast exam, call Mary Kerr, M.D., Inc. or book an appointment online today.
Breast exams are among the most critical early screening tests for breast cancer. During a clinical breast exam, Dr. Kerr may detect a lump or other changes in your breast that require additional testing.
Breast exams help Dr. Kerr find breast cancer before it causes symptoms. Like most other cancers and gynecological conditions, breast cancer is easiest to treat when caught in its earliest stages.
Early detection and state-of-the-art treatment dramatically improve your chances of surviving breast cancer. If Dr. Kerr finds a lump in your breast during a routine wellness exam, the cancer is more likely to be small and confined to your breast. Small cancerous tumors that have not yet spread are much easier to treat.
Dr. Kerr performs breast exams for adult women of all ages, usually during your well-woman visit. She carefully reviews your medical history and identifies your risk factors for breast cancer.
Women in their 20s and 30s who are at average risk for breast cancer should see Dr. Kerr for an exam every 1-3 years. After age 40, you should get screened once a year.
Every patient is screened for genetic risk, and high-risk patients are offered in-office screening for BRCA 1 and 2 as well as the next 23 genetic cancer risk genes. Referrals are tailored to each patient’s breast density and risk to 3D mammogram, 3D breast ultrasound (automated whole breast ultrasound or ABUS), targeted ultrasound, breast MRI, tomography, and SoftVue underwater ultrasound. Dr. Kerr coordinates referrals to high-risk clinics and expert breast surgeons and geneticists and discusses risk reduction strategies.
During a breast exam, Dr. Kerr visually and manually checks your breasts for signs of cancer or other breast problems. She looks at the shape and size of your breasts as well as the color and texture of your skin.
Then, she gently palpates your breasts with the tips of her fingers to check for lumps beneath the skin. If she finds something abnormal, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer, but she may recommend more tests such as a mammogram.
Other conditions that may cause a lump or abnormal changes in your breast include cysts and infections.
After she performs your breast exam, Dr. Kerr reviews how to conduct a self-exam at home. You should perform breast self-exams on a monthly basis and report any noticeable changes to Dr. Kerr right away.
If you’re due for a breast exam or notice any changes in your breasts, don’t hesitate to call the friendly staff at the office of Mary Kerr, M.D., Inc., or book an appointment online.