Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Detecting breast cancer early means finding it before symptoms appear. Early detection is possible with regular screening tests. The earlier cancer is found, the more likely it is to be smaller and contained to the breast without spreading to other parts of the body. These factors are important in predicting the chances that the cancer is curable.

Breast-Self Awareness

Being “breast aware” and getting regular screening mammograms is more important than giving yourself regular monthly breast exams. Research from the American Cancer Society shows that monthly self-breast exams do not result in early detection of cancer. Instead, be aware of how your breasts normally look and feel while going about your normal routine. Many women have areas of lumpiness, and being aware of them is important. Report any changes that last more than a month to your primary care physician.

Clinical Breast Exam

During a clinical breast examination, your physician will perform a systematic evaluation of your breasts to detect lumps or changes in texture of the breast, also checking nearby lymph nodes for changes. This may be performed during your annual wellness examination or during your annual appointment with your OB-GYN.

Supplemental Breast Imaging

Your physician may also recommend the following additional screening methods to help with early detection of breast cancer:

Every screening method has unique benefits. Based on your personal and family history and your lifestyle, your physician will work with you to select the best screening plan for you if you are at higher risk.