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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

The Importance of Clinical Breast Exams

It is important for your physician or health care provider to perform a clinical breast exam before you have your screening mammogram. If she or he finds a lump or other area that looks or feels abnormal, then you will be scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram to evaluate the problem.


A limited examination of a palpable area in the breast which might be performed in this office does not substitute for a clinical breast exam. Remember that if you have a lump, a negative or normal mammogram is very reassuring, but does not definitely exclude the possibility that there is cancer in the breast. Your health care provider may still suggest further testing or consultation with a breast specialist.


Also, you should be aware that if a lump develops even after you have had a normal screening mammogram, it should be promptly evaluated and you should not wait until the time of your next screening mammogram.