Early Breast Cancer Detection Saves Lives

Three Women imageAn estimated 232,340 cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed among women in the United States each year. Only lung cancer deaths in women surpass those caused by breast cancer. (American Cancer Society, 2012)

Early detection is the key to increasing your chances of surviving breast cancer. Performing monthly breast self exams, along with regularly scheduled mammograms as recommended by your health care provider, plus an annual clinical exam by your health care provider increases the likelihood of early detection.

The American Cancer Society provides the following screening recommendations for women:

  • Women age 40 and older should have a clinical breast exam and screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so as long as they are in good health.
  • Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam as part of a periodic (regular) health exam by a health professional, preferably every three years.
  • Breast self exam is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should be told about the benefits and limitations of breast self exams. Women should report any breast changes to their health care provider right away.
  • Women at increased risk should talk with their health care providers about the benefits and limitations of starting mammograms at an earlier age, as well as having additional tests (such as breast ultrasound or MRI) or having more frequent exams.
For more information on breast self-exams, clinical breast exams or mammography, visit the American Cancer Society, call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 or ask your doctor, nurse or other health care provider.

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