Life as a woman comes with some additional steps you should be taking for your health. From early puberty to pregnancy and all the way through menopause and beyond, women’s bodies are constantly evolving. It’s important to keep up with these changes and ensure that all facets of your health are in good standing.
Many women participate in yearly well visits with an OB/GYN. This is standard and recommended practice, but it may still not be enough for some women. OB/GYNs are experts in a woman’s reproductive health, and while preliminary breast exams are often also included in this, more complete breast services require a different skill set.
Breast health specialists are the next step for women who need additional guidance. This includes advanced screenings and treatments for breast cancer, but there are also many other services available through breast health providers. Take a look at just a few of these offerings, and some indicators that it may be time to see a breast health specialist.
A Complete Portfolio of Breast-Specific Services
Breast health providers will have access to a greater variety of specialized equipment for testing. This means that any inconclusive or incomplete testing done by your primary care team or OB/GYN can be redone, along with several new and more detailed tests.
Another service that can provide additional insight is genetic counseling. This is a tactic where your specialist conducts a deep dive into your family history, looking for genetic conditions that have a chance of affecting you. Going through this process is a great way to gauge the amount of risk you have, even if you don’t have any physical symptoms you need to be checked.
For those women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, additional resources are also at your disposal with a breast health specialist. Depending on your provider, some treatments can be conducted from the comfort of your local office. And additional rehabilitation support is also available to keep track of your recovery and monitor for potential recurrences.
When You Should Schedule Your Appointment
One of the biggest questions surrounding breast health is about when the right time is to seek out a specialist. There are many reasons a woman will turn to a breast health expert. One of the most obvious is because they got referred by their primary care provider or OB/GYN.
But women can always request a breast health appointment on their own. If you notice any changes in your breasts or have a family history of breast conditions, making an effort to seek out specialized support can be critical, even if it’s just preventative or precautionary.
Concerning breast symptoms to look out for include lumps, swelling, discharge, dimpling, and inverted nipples. It’s important to note that breast cancer is only a small portion of diagnosis and that symptoms may be due to a number of other causes. Consulting with a breast health specialist can offer the clarification you need for added peace of mind.
For women in Southern Maryland, breast health services are available locally through UM Charles Regional. To learn more and request an appointment, visit UMCharlesRegional.com/BreastHealth.