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Screening for Breast Cancer

Screening guidelines for women who are at average risk for breast cancer fall into two age-based categories:

  • Women ages 20–39:  In this age group, women should perform monthly breast self-exams, reporting any lumps or changes to their primary-care provider immediately. For more information about self-exams, see The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s Breast Self-Exam page.
  • Women age 40 and over: Continued monthly breast self-exams, and annual mammograms starting at age 40, are recommended.

Women with factors that increase breast cancer risk and/or dense breast tissue may need additional measures, such as:

  • Annual mammograms before 40
  • Additional screenings, such as breast MRI, in conjunction with annual mammograms

To review additional useful information, see the Breast Cancer: Early Detection page on the American Cancer Society Web site.



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