Breast Cancer: Take Steps for Early Detection
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. More than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year.
Early detection improves the survival rate of breast cancer patients. Following the guidelines below can improve the chances of breast cancer being found at an early stage and treated with success.
Mammograms: Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.
Clinical breast exam: Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a regular exam by a health professional, at least every three years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year.
Breast self-exam (BSE): BSE is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should discuss the benefits and limitations of BSE with their health professional.
If you do BSE on a regular basis, you get to know how your breasts normally look and feel. Any changes in how breasts look or feel should be reported to a health professional right away.
Information about the breast self-examination and how to perform it correctly, and general information about breast cancer can be found at www.cancer.org.