Breast cancer affects one in eight women; nearly 192,000 women are diagnosed with the disease every year. Fortunately, breast cancer often can be cured. When breast cancer is detected early, before it has spread, the 5-year survival rate is 97 percent.
Protect yourself from breast cancer: learn the warning signs and risk factors and follow the recommended screening guidelines listed below.
Risk Factors for Women
- Over age 40; younger in genetically linked cancer
- Mother, daughter, or sister with breast cancer
- Previous breast cancer
- Firm lump in the breast or under the arm
- Thickening in the breast tissue
- Change in the feel or color of the skin of the breast dimpling, puckering, or scaliness
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
- Change in the shape or size of the breast or nipple
Screening Guidelines - Three Components
- Monthly breast self-examination (BSE) performed five days after each menstrual period or, post menopause, on the same day each month. Learn BSE from y our physician. Women performing BSE find more than 90 percent of all breast abnormalities.
- Breast examination by a physician every two to three years for women over age 20, then every year over age 40.
- Baseline mammogram before age 40; screening mammogram every year after age 40. Mammography can reveal tumors years before they can be felt.