Following the American Cancer Society's guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer improves the chances that breast cancer can be diagnosed at an early stage and treated successfully.
- Women aged 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year.
- Between the ages of 20 and 39, women should have a clinical breast examination by a health professional every 3 years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health professional every year.
- Women aged 20 or older should perform a breast self-examination (BSE) every month. By doing the exam regularly, you get to know how your breasts normally feel and you can more readily detect any change. If a change occurs, such as development of a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, nipple pain or retraction (turning inward), redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin, or a discharge other than breast milk, you should see your health care provider as soon as possible for evaluation. The patient should keep in mind that not all breast changes signal cancer.
- Recent research suggests that women who have had breast cancer or are at high risk have periodic MRI exams as well.
- It is best to limit alcohol consumption to one standard alcoholic beverage per day.
Last updated: 30-Aug-07