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Breast Exams

The best defense against breast cancer is early detection. That is why yearly routine exams (or more frequently if problems arise) are recommended.

How to do Breast Exams?

What is breast self-awareness?
Breast self-awareness focuses on having a sense of what is normal for your breasts so that you can tell if there are changes—even small changes—and report them to your ob-gyn or other health care professional.

Why is breast self-awareness important?
Breast cancer often is found by a woman herself. This happens in almost one half of all cases of breast cancer in women aged 50 years and older. In women younger than 50 years, more than 70% of cases of breast cancer are found by the women themselves.

How can I talk with my doctor about mammography and breast health?
If you are aged 40 years or older, you can start the conversation with these questions:

  • What are my chances of having breast cancer?

  • When should I start getting regular mammograms?

  • How often should I get them?

You can ask more specific questions based on your age. If you are aged 40–49 years:

  • What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms before I turn 50?

  • If you are aged 50–75 years:

  • What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms every 2 years instead of every year?

If you are older than 75 years:

  • Do I need to keep having mammograms?

You and your ob-gyn or other health care professional should share information, talk about your wishes, and agree on when and how often you will have breast screening. See more on mammography here.

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