Detecting breast cancer early can be life-saving. Deborah M. Axelrod, MD, breast surgeon at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, says conducting breast self-examinations every few months can help women detect alarming changes in their breast areas.
Dr. Axelrod says even if an average woman doesn’t know exactly what to look for, she can become familiar with her breast area, recognize when something is different, and contact a professional. Breast self-exams can be especially useful for young women, who typically do not have breast cancer screenings or mammograms.
“We have never proven that this saves lives. We’ve never shown that it is effective as a screening tool,” she told TODAY. “But if you have a young woman, where you’re not doing anything—this is free, this is convenient, it doesn’t cost anything. She might as well know that something could be different.”
Because self-exams are free, convenient, and easy, Dr. Axelrod recommends women establish a routine to do one every few months.
Read more from TODAY.