What are the ACOG guidelines for clinical breast exam to screen for breast cancer?

Updated: Feb 04, 2021
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Women should be counseled about breast self-awareness (ie, awareness of the normal appearance and feel of their breasts) and encouraged to notify their health care provider if they experience a change (level C). However, breast self-examination is not recommended (level B).

Clinical breast examination remains a recommended part of the evaluation of women who are at high risk or have symptoms. Screening clinical breast examination may be offered to asymptomatic, average-risk women on the following schedules, in the context of an informed, shared decision-making approach that recognizes the uncertainty of its benefits and the possibility of adverse consequences (level C):

  • For women aged 25–39 years, clinical breast examinations may be offered every 1–3 years.
  • For women aged 40 years and older, clinical breast examination may be offered annually

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