Studies show one in every eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.1 Early detection through clinical and self-breast examinations, as well as regular mammograms for those older than age 40, are the surest ways to fight the battle.
When Should I Have a Mammogram?
According to the American Cancer Society, all women older than ago 40 should receive an annual mammogram. Age is the highest risk factor for breast cancer. Other risk factors are outlined below:
• Previous diagnoses of breast cancer
• A family history of breast cancer
• Two or more breast biopsies for other noncancerous conditions
• Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy
• Early menstruation or late menopause
• Having children later in life or no children at all*
Tips to Make the Most of Your Mammogram
• Visit the same facility on a regular basis so your mammograms can be compared from year to year.
• Schedule your mammograms during the time of the month when your breasts are least tender. Five days after menstruation is usually ideal.
• Avoid wearing deodorant, power, or cream under your arms as it may interfere with the quality of the image.
• Let the technician know if you have breast implants.
In addition to regular mammograms, you should perform monthly self-breast examinations to check for lumps or changes.
1 “Screening Mammograms: Questions & Answers.” National Cancer Institute. 20 May 2008.
2 “Detailed Guide: Breast Cancer.” American Cancer Society. 20 May 2008.