Breast Examination Periprocedural Care

Updated: Aug 30, 2018
  • Author: Erin V Newton, MD; Chief Editor: Christine Isaacs, MD  more...
  • Print
Periprocedural Care

Patient Education & Consent

Patient education concerning the role of different screening modalities for the diagnosis of breast cancer is important and varies by age.

Annual mammography for women older than 40 years has been advised by some groups, although the utility in women aged 40-49 years is controversial.

MRI screening is more sensitive in younger women with denser breasts and has been recommended as an adjunct to mammography in extremely high-risk women such as those with genetic predisposition to breast cancer.

Beginning after age 19, women should be told about the limitations and potential benefits of breast self exam (BSE) in the context of building awareness about their bodies. Regardless of the practice of regular, haphazard, or occasional practice of BSE, women should be told to report any new breast symptoms to their health provider. For those women choosing to perform BSE, proper technique should be demonstrated by a health professional.