The medical palpation of the breast is part of the routine check-up for the basic program of early cancer detection. It is a measure corresponding to the S3 guidelines. In the video you can find out how a palpation examination by the doctor works and what he or she pays attention to. (The video is in German)
Breast palpation can and should be carried out regularly by women themselves. If possible, it should be performed monthly during the menstrual period, because at this time the breasts are soft and can be palpated easily. Women going through the menopause and after always take the same day of the month. If you are taking medication for menopausal symptoms, about a week after starting a new monthly pack is a good time.
Instructions for breast self-examination are given in the video (in German).
In the case of the medical examination as well as self-examination, the following signs are considered to be suspicious findings that require further medical clarification:
- breast lumps
- new breast size discrepancy
- skin changes or pinching of the skin on the nipple
- leaking of clear or bloody fluid from the nipple
- different behavior of the breasts when raising the arms
- sudden reddening of a breast that will not go away
- inflammation of the breasts
If the findings are suspicious, your gynecologist will refer you to a specialist. Please bring all test results – if available – with you to your first appointment. You will first discuss the previous findings, afterwards a physical examination is usually carried out.
These are usually examinations such as a special X-ray examination (mammography) or an ultrasound examination (sonography) of the breast. If the findings are unclear, a tissue sample (biopsy) can be taken under local anesthesia.
The sample is sent to the pathology and laboratory and evaluated. The most modern processes are used here, the quality of which is constantly monitored. The result of the tissue sample is available after about two working days.
If you are suffering from breast cancer, the further steps will be determined in consensus with all experts in the breast center. If a so-called "staging" (examination of the neck, thorax, abdomen and a bone scintigram) is necessary, this will be coordinated by our case manager or by your newly treating doctor in the breast center. We give you our individual and personal attention.
We take your well-being into account and support and help you with all further steps.
Don't be afraid to speak openly to your doctor about getting a second opinion on the findings and type of treatment.
If you are suffering from cancer, this does require prompt treatment, but this does not preclude obtaining a second opinion. It is crucial that the right form of therapy is found for you.
Not all examinations have to be repeated for a second medical opinion. You have the right to a copy of your diagnosis and examination results, such as pathological findings. You should definitely ask for a copy of the mammography images. These costs are usually covered by statutory health insurance.
You are welcome to get a second opinion in our breast center.