Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S., but it can be successfully treated. Screening tests can find cancer early, when chances for survival are highest.
1. Know your risk:
- Learn about your family health history.
- Talk to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer.
- Use the Know:BRCA tool at https://www.knowbrca.org to help you assess your risk of having a BRCA mutation.
2. Get screened:
- Talk with your provider about when to start mammograms and how often to have them. Generally, the average risk for women starts between ages 40-45.
- Have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at age 20 and every year starting at age 40.
- Setup reminders for your screening exam and monthly self-breast checks.
3. Know what is normal for you:
See a doctor if you notice any of the following breast changes:
- A lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area;
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast;
- Change in the size or shape of the breast;
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin;
- Itchy, scaly, sore or rash on the nipple;
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast;
- New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away.
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise daily.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Breastfeed if you can.
Fast Facts About Breast Cancer
- Each year in the U.S., more than 246,660 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
- One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
- More than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the U.S. today.
- Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women.
- About 10% of all new cases of breast cancer in the U.S. are found in women younger than 45 years old.