Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening simply means checking an individual’s breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease.  There are three tests used to screen the breasts for cancer. Talk to your doctor to determine the correct one for you and also when you should have them.

  • Mammogram: This is an x-ray of the breast. This is the best method for detecting breast cancer early. The earlier it is detected, the easier it is to treat. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of fatal breast cancer. If you are 50-74 years of age, it is recommended to have a mammogram every two years.
  • Clinical Breast Exam: This is an exam by a doctor or nurse, who uses their hand to feel for lumps or other changes.
  • Breast Self-Exam: This is when an individual checks their own breasts for lumps, changes in size or shape of the breast, or any other changes in the breast or underarm.

Performing a breast self-exam or having a clinical breast exam have not been found to decrease the fatality risk of breast cancer. Presently, the most accurate way of detecting breast cancer is through a mammogram.  If you choose a clinical breast exam or self-exam, be sure to get regular mammograms.

Getting screened for breast cancer can be done at a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office. If you want to be screened for breast cancer, call your doctor’s office; they can help you to schedule an appointment.

Don’t avoid getting screened; the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) offers free or low-cost mammograms and education about breast cancer. To find out if you qualify, call your local program.

Remember, the whole month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so remember to check the boobies!

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