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Clinical Breast Exam

A clinical breast exam (CBE) is performed by a Northline Women's Health Center physician or nurse practitioner to check for any abnormalities and warning signs. This is different from breast self-exam that every woman should do once at month at home.

CBE is generally recommended as part of breast cancer screening for women beginning at age 20 and will be part of your annual check-up even after you begin having mammograms.

During your clinical breast exam, we will:

Look at the appearance of your breasts

While you are sitting up, we look for differences in size or shape between your breasts and for signs of a rash or dimpling of the skin, and to see if there is any fluid discharge when the nipple is lightly squeezed. You may be asked to raise your arms over your head, let them hang by your sides, or press your hands against your hips.

Perform a manual check

While you are lying down, we use the fingers to examine the breast, underarm, and collarbone area to feel for any lumps or abnormalities. We will also check the lymph nodes near the breast to see if they are enlarged.

Don't panic if a lump is discovered. Benign lumps can occur and often feel different from cancerous ones, but any lump found will likely need to be examined further.

A clinical breast exam doesn't take the place of your monthly breast self-exam. While most lumps are discovered through breast self-exams, a clinical breast exam may reveal a suspicious area that you won't recognize.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax