Women ages 20 and older should perform breast self-exams monthly. The American Cancer Society provides a guide; click on the link below for an explanation on how you can correctly perform an exam. click here
Of course, a self-exam cannot be relied on alone. Regular mammograms are key in the early detection and the fight against breast cancer. A mammogram is a diagnostic tool, which can detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, before a lump can be felt. Finding breast cancer early gives women the greatest chance of survival and the best treatment options.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) offers a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, which is an interactive tool designed by scientists at the NCI and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP). It helps estimate a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/
Further, you should be aware of possible risk factors that can contribute to your risk of breast cancer.
The following are offered by the NCI:
- Age at the start of menstruation
- Number of first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, daughters) with breast cancer
- Number of previous breast biopsies (whether positive or negative)
- At least one breast biopsy with atypical hyperplasia
CHS hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk offer comprehensive breast health services in a welcoming and supportive environment. Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer. To learn more, call 1-855-CHS-4500 or visit www.chsli.org to find a doctor.