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Breast Cancer Screening

Regular breast cancer screening saves lives. Taking the time to do breast self-exams each month, and getting annual clinical breast exams and mammograms are essential to detecting breast cancer early. Breast cancer is 100 percent treatable when detected in its earliest stages.

The following are recommended routine breast cancer exams:


Breast self-exams

These should be performed each month in front of a mirror. Look at the size and shape of your breasts and also feel the tissue, pressing around the nipple outward in circles and up and downward in lines to the edges of the breast (including the armpits) for any lumps or changes in tissue. One of the biggest benefits of breast self-exams is that you learn how your breasts normally appear and feel – how they change with your menstrual cycle and can more readily detect abnormal changes.

Clinical breast exams

This is similar to a self-exam but is performed by a medical professional. During the exam, a physician looks at and feels your breasts and underarm tissue to detect lumps or abnormalities.

Mammograms

This x-ray of breast tissue can detect changes in breast health and breast cancer up to two years before you or your doctor feel a breast lump. It is the best way to detect cancer in its earliest stages. Annual mammograms are recommended starting at age 40.