Breast Cancer: Patient Education
- Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool
The National Cancer Institute provides an online tool to help you figure out your risk of breast cancer. Find out more »
Done Your Breast Self-Exam This Month?
A monthly breast self-examination should include both a visual inspection and a manual inspection while standing, lying down and reclining.
Pick a time of the month that's easy to remember and perform your self-examination at that time. The breast has normal patterns of thickness and lumpiness that change within a monthly period, and a consistently scheduled examination will help differentiate between what is normal from abnormal.
A monthly breast self-exam should not replace the annual examination done by a health professional. Breast awareness may be as helpful as formal self exams as long as women who notice a breast abnormality obtain a professional evaluation promptly.
Who Should Schedule a Mammogram?
Mammograms are the most effective and important early detection method available.
According to the American Cancer Society, early screening saves lives. Thousands of lives. Here are the guidelines for early detection:
- Women age 20 and older: clinical breast exam at annual physical
- Women at age 40: initial mammogram
- Women age 50 and older: mammogram every two years and clinical breast exam
- All women: monthly breast self-exam
- Women at high risk for breast cancer: yearly MRI and mammogram