breast examination

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.


inspection or investigation, especially as a means of diagnosing disease.
breast examination in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as inspection and palpation of the breasts and related areas.
mental status examination a standardized procedure to gather data to determine etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment for patients with mental disorders.
pelvic examination physical assessment of the internal pelvic organs. It includes inspection with a speculum, a papanicolaou smear, bimanual palpation, and a rectovaginal examination.
physical examination examination of the bodily state of a patient by ordinary physical means, as inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation.
postmortem examination autopsy.

breast examination1

a process in which the breasts and their accessory structures are observed and palpated in assessing the presence of changes or abnormalities that could indicate malignant disease. See also self-breast examination.
method The breasts are observed with the patient sitting with her arms at her sides; sitting with her arms over her head, back straight, then leaning forward; and, finally, sitting upright as she contracts the pectoral muscles by placing hands on hips. The breasts are observed for symmetry of shape and size and for surface characteristics, including moles or nevi, hyperpigmentation, retraction or dimpling, edema, abnormal distribution of hair, focal vascularity, or lesions. With the patient still sitting, the axillary nodes and the supraclavicular and subclavicular areas are palpated. With the patient lying on her back, each breast is shifted medially, and the glandular area in each is palpated with the flat of the fingers of a hand in concentric circles or in a pattern like the spokes of a wheel, from the periphery inward. The areolar areas, the nipples, and the axillary tail of Spence in the upper outer quadrant extending toward the axilla are then palpated. The nipple is squeezed to check for discharge.
interventions The patient should be taught to perform a self-breast examination and encouraged to do it monthly. The American Cancer Society recommends starting at about age 18. Premenopausal women should examine breasts approximately 1 week past the menstrual period, when breasts are less tender and less swollen. Postmenopausal women should choose a specific time each month, such as the first day of the month. Many women find it helpful to check their breasts every time they shower for the first few months after being taught the procedure to practice and to become very familiar with their own breasts.
outcome criteria Early diagnosis greatly improves the rate of cure in cancer of the breast.
enlarge picture
Breast examination

breast examination2

a nursing intervention from the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) defined as inspection and palpation of the breasts and related areas. See also Nursing Interventions Classification.


Medtalk The evaluation of an asymptomatic person in a population, to detect an unsuspected disease process not known to exist at the time of evaluation; screening tests measure specific parameters–eg, bp–for HTN, sigmoidoscopy–colorectal CA, imaging–eg, mammography–breast CA or lab parameters–eg, cholesterol–CAD, guaiac-positive stools–colorectal CA or Pap smears of the uterine cervix–cervical CA; screening tests in general have high sensitivities and low specificities, which allows detection of most Pts with a morbid condition, while having the acceptable disadvantage of a high rate of false positivity. See Cancer screening, Colorectal screening, Developmental screening, Drug screening, Forensic drug screening, Genetic screening, Industry screening Microalbuminuria screening, Multiphasic screening, Newborn screening Psychiatry An assessment or evaluation to determine the appropriate services for a client.
Blood-pressure Measured in normotensive persons-every 2 years, all age groups
Breast examination, ♀ By physician-every year > age 40; mammography-every 1-2 years, age 35+, every year > age 50
Cervical cytology Pap smear every 1-3 years, starting at age of first intercourse
Cholesterol Measured-every 5 years, but not in younger subjects
Prostate Rectal exam, ideally every year
References in periodicals archive ?
Even though the sensitivity of both clinical breast examination and mammography to detect breast cancer increases with age (9), the BRFSS findings indicate that women in the older age groups, who are at highest risk for breast cancer, are least likely to receive breast cancer screening.
If the patient was making a first visit, had a breast-related complaint, was representing for an annual examination, had a previous mammogram, had a breast examination done at the current visit or within the last year, and if the physician believed a mammogram was indicated and percieved her as willing to comply, the odds of having a mammogram ordered increased significantly.
O'Malley et al (8) investigated reasons why physicians do not teach female patients to perform breast self-examination at the time of their clinical breast examination, and found that physicians reported that their training in breast self-examination instruction had been inadequate.
If cancer is caught early through breast examination there is a better chance to get better.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Systemic changes in clinic operations increased the number of women returning for mammography rescreening and clinical breast examination at two of three community clinics, Regina Otero-Sabogal, Ph.
SAN ANTONIO -- Routine clinical breast examination should be simplified to a one-step procedure consisting of palpation of the supine patient, Dr.
She added: "No mention of this breast examination was made in notes.
For the Canadian study 50,430 volunteers aged 40-49 with no previous breast cancer diagnosis and no mammography screening in the previous 12 months underwent physical breast examination and received instruction on proper self-examination.
Previous studies have compared outcomes with mammography versus no mammography, but this is the first study to investigate whether mammography conveys an additional benefit when used with a clinical breast examination, Dr.
President of Mammatech, said "the company is developing computer assisted tactile trainer that will help produce and verify high levels of clinical breast examination (CBE) skill.
Although previous studies have compared outcomes with mammography versus no mammography, this is the first study to investigate whether mammography conveys an additional benefit when used with a clinical breast examination, Dr.
SAN ANTONIO -- Clinical breast examination sorely needs a dose of objectivity, according to Dr.