Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women (after skin cancer). Breast self-exam alone has not been shown to reduce deaths from breast cancer.
Clinical breast exam by a health care professional, breast self-exam, and mammography are currently recommended for early detection. Routine breast cancer screening has the potential to reduce deaths from breast cancer in women.
Women with a strong family history of breast cancer should start routine screening at least 10 years before the age of onset of breast cancer in their relatives.
Breast cancer risk can be inherited from both paternal and maternal sides of the family.
This is the recommended screening schedule for women with no extraordinary risk factors:
- All women over 20 years of age are encouraged to perform monthly breast self-exams. Ask your health care provider about doing the self-exam.
- Women age 40 - 49 should discuss frequency (every 1 to 2 years) of mammograms with your health care provider.
- Women age 50 to 75 are advised to have a mammogram every year based on risk factors. Discuss with your health care provider.
- Women over 75 years should discuss the frequency of mammograms with their health care provider.