The facts about breast cancer screening

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women after skin cancer. About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will get breast cancer during her life. One of the best things you can do for yourself is learn when and how to get screened for breast cancer.


A mammogram can help save lives.

Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer. But, they are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Mammograms can detect breast cancer before you can see it or feel it. Finding breast cancer in its early stages may reduce a person’s risk of dying by  30 percent or more.


Breast self exams alone aren’t enough.

Experts say that breast self-exams (BSEs) cannot take the place of a mammogram. Although women should see their doctors if they notice any changes in their breasts, studies say that BSEs alone are not enough to catch breast cancer early.


Each woman’s mammogram schedule may be different.

Women who have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors may need to start getting yearly mammograms at a younger age. Women who don’t have risk factors may begin getting mammograms in their 40s or later. It’s important to talk with your doctor to find out when you should start getting mammograms.


If you’re not sure when you should get a mammogram, talk with your doctor. Together, you can create a breast cancer screening schedule that is right for you.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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