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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.


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


American Cancer Society