Screening and Prevention of Breast Cancer
Women of all ages should know how their breasts normally look and feel. They should perform self-exams of their breasts regularly and report any changes to their health care provider. Women 18 and older should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) every year to identify lumps or other changes. Women 40 and older should have a mammogram and a clinical breast exam (CBE) every year, following breast cancer recommended screening guidelines. Women at a higher risk should discuss beginning mammograms at a younger age with their health care provider.
What causes breast cancer?
Women at a higher risk for breast cancer:
- Use alcohol and eat a high-fat diet
- Are obese or overweight
- Have never had children
- Smoke and are exposed to secondhand smoke
- Have used birth control within the past 10 years
- Are older (two-thirds of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women 55 and older)
- Have a family or personal history of breast cancer
- Have gene defects or mutations
- Are Caucasian and 45 years of age and older
- Have dense breast tissue