Detecting Breast Cancer
A breast self-exam is not recommended as a screening tool for breast cancer. However, it is important to become familiar with the way your breast normally look and feel. Knowing what is normal for you will help you see or feel changes in your breasts.
Regular mammograms can help find breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is most successful. A mammogram can find breast changes that could be cancer years before physical symptoms develop.
The American Cancer Society recommends a mammography for women of average risk every year beginning at age 40. They also recommend a clinical breast exam every 3 years for women ages 20-39 and yearly beginning at age 40. Women at higher risk may need to get screened earlier and more frequently.