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Breast Health

Early cancer detection saves lives. A combination of mammography, clinical breast exam (CBE) and Breast Self-Exam (BSE) is recommended for early breast cancer detection.

Breast Awareness and Breast Self Exam:

Starting at age 20, a woman should be aware of how her breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to her health care provider (breast awareness).  Another option is choosing to use a step-by-step approach specific method of Breast Self Exam (BSE).

·        BSE should be done monthly. The incidence of breast cancer is higher for black women aged less than 40 years than for white women aged less than 40; however, both black and white women aged less than 35 years have the lowest breast cancer survival rates of all age groups.  Breast self-examination (BSE) and clinical breast examination (CBE) are the only early detection/screening techniques recommended to this age group (ages 20-35).

·        Uses a systematic method for a thorough exam (includes visual and palpation)—ask your primary care physician or a qualified health professional to demonstrate the technique to you.

·        Helps you recognize changes in breast tissue and prompts seeking clinical consultation.

·        Request assistance from clinician regarding your normal breast nodularity; consult with a clinician for any suspicious finding that is a change.

·        Practice monthly to make routine and increase confidence with technique.

Clinical Breast Exam:

This examination is performed by a licensed clinician.

·        Every 1-3 years in 20s-30s; annually after age 40.

·        Includes: health history, visual inspection, axillary  node examination, breast tissue examination, documentation.

Mammography:

The goal of mammography is to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage. Early detection maximizes the patient's chance for cure. Mammography can also detect pre-cancerous lesions.

·        Baseline at age 35 years (or may start at age 30 if special high risk situations apply). 

·        Annually starting at age 40 and continue as long as the woman is in good health is the recommendation for all women at average risk and having no symptoms.

·        15% False negative rate (range of 8-40%).

For more information, visit:

American College of Radiology

The American Society of Breast Surgeons

MammographySavesLives

American Cancer Society