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Screening Guidelines


Screening refers to exams and tests to find a disease in people who don’t show any symptoms. The goal of a screening mammogram is to find cancer early. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the more successful the treatment outcomes.

Click Here for the anatomy of breast cancer.

Schedule a breast exam by your healthcare professional at least every three years, along with performing breast self-exams each month. Performing self exams will help you become familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel and will help you notice any changes. Let your healthcare provider know right away about any changes you detect. If you have a family history of breast cancer, it is important to discuss this with your healthcare provider as that may change the recommendations for you.

AGE 40+

Schedule a breast exam by your healthcare provider every year as well as an annual mammogram. Breast self-exams should also be performed each month so you are familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel. Some breast lumps and changes are normal, but it is important to report any changes to your healthcare provider right away.

No matter what age you are, by doing a regular breast exam, you may be able to notice a variety of changes in the composition of your breasts, breast tissue or surrounding breast area including:

  • A lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling or warmth in part of the breast
  • Changes in the size or shape
  • Skin irritation, redness or dimpling/puckering of the skin
  • Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • Redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin
  • Lump in the underarm area
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away

If you notice any of the above changes, it is important to see your healthcare provider immediately.