Q: Who is at risk for breast cancer?
A: All women are at risk for breast cancer. The majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no other known risk factors.
Q: What are the risk factors that put a woman at higher risk for breast cancer?
A: A personal history of breast or ovarian cancer, a relative who had breast cancer before menopause or in both breasts, a personal history of breast biopsy showing atypical hyperplasia or carcinoma in situ, being young at the time of your first period, starting menopause later, never being pregnant or having your first child after age 30 and having the mutated breast cancer gene BRCA1 or BRCA2
Q: What steps can I take?
A: Age 20 -39: Conduct monthly breast self-examinations and have a clinical breast examination every year. Women under age 40 with a family history of breast cancer and other concerns about their personal risk should consult a trained medical professional about risk assessment and when to begin screening mammography.
Age 40 and older: Conduct monthly breast self-examinations, have a clinical breast examination every year, and an annual mammogram.
Q: When should I do a breast self-examination?
A: The best time to do a breast self-examination is the same time each month. For menstruating women, the self-exam should be performed after the menstrual period has ended when the breasts are less tender.
Q: What is a clinical breast exam (CBE)?
A: A clinical breast exam is performed by a trained medical professional, includes visual examination and palpation (feeling) of the entire breast and underarm area, and is performed in both sitting and lying down positions. Women age 40 and older should have both a clinical breast examination and mammogram each year.