Dr. Amber Dobyne of OakBend Medical Group recently discussed breast exams and mammograms and the different kinds a woman might expect to receive. A clinical breast exam is done by a patient’s OB/GYN or other health provider where they examine your breast for any abnormalities during a routine check-up. This exam is recommended every one to three years for women between 25 and 39. At the age of 40 it is recommended that women receive a clinical breast exam yearly.

Mammograms are a screening x-ray to check for any abnormalities in the breast tissue where you are not necessarily having any symptoms but if you find a lump or your healthcare provider finds any kind of abnormality then mammograms can be used as a diagnostic tool. Mammograms right now are recommended every one to two starting at the age of 40 and then yearly beginning at the age of 50 to 75.

Self-breast exams are recommended for women of all ages and preferably beginning after puberty. If you are familiar with your breasts, you will notice any changes before your doctor. Most breast cancers are not necessarily found on mammograms, they are more like to be found by patients that have been doing self-breast exams and finding lumps.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of breast cancers are not hereditary. Only about 5-10% are believed to be hereditary and these are cancers caused by a gene mutation that is inherited from one of your parents.  The most common genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes normally cause an aggressive cancer and are associated with other types of cancer such as pancreatic, ovarian and melanoma. 

Today, according to Dobyne, there are several things you can do to lower your risk of breast cancer, “maintain a healthy body weight, exercise regularly and eliminate sedentary behavior, maintain healthy eating habits, with fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limit alcohol consumption to one drink a day and breastfeeding has been found to decrease the occurrence of breast cancer.”

“Schedule your annual visit, schedule your yearly mammogram and every one stay safe during this time, everyone please do your part to protect yourself and your healthcare advisors will do their part to protect you,” stated Dobyne.

Dr. Dobyne is located at 22001 Southwest Freeway, Suite 100 in Richmond. Please call 281-239-5020 for appointments.

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