What is a clinical breast examination?

A clinical breast examination is a comprehensive examination of the breast, completely painless and performed without the use of any instruments, by a specialized doctor in order to diagnose diseases affecting the breast. In addition to patients with already diagnosed breast disease a patient can visit the doctor in the case of presence of lumps, nipple discharge, inflammation, and pain in the breast region.

What is the purpose of the clinical breast examination?

The goal of the clinical breast examination is to identify or rule out the presence of a disease that affects the breasts. The examination is also used to monitor progress of patients with previously diagnosed breast diseases. 


How is a clinical breast examination carried out?

The doctor will collect information about the patient's medical history and lifestyle such as food consumption, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, level of physical activity, current pathologies, family history of breast cancer, patients age at time of first menstrual cycle or start of menopause, pregnancy, and medication intake. 
The doctor will then proceed with the clinical examination itself, which is based on observation and feeling of the breast region.
The specialist can then establish a diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate therapy or depending on the suspected diagnosis ask the patient to conduct more test for further evaluation including a breast ultrasound, mammography, and biopsy.


Are there any guidelines for preparation?

There are no specific rules to prepare for a clinical breast examination. It is advised that the patient brings any tests that may be of used pertaining the current situation.