A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that can detect tumors, including those that are too small to feel and abnormal cells that signal early signs of breast cancer.
Women are also advised to practice breast self-awareness. This mean becoming familiar with how your breasts feel and look are they naturally lumpy, are there any particular bumps or wrinkles or freckles? Knowing what feels and looks normal helps you recognize when something is unusual.
- Women age 40 and older should have a yearly mammogram and yearly clinical breast exam
- Women younger than 40 should have a clinical breast exam every 1 to 3 years
- Women with an inherited risk for breast cancer may need to begin screening earlier
- All women should practice breast self-awareness
- Yearly MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is also advised for women with an inherited risk of breast cancer
For more information, visit:
- University of Michigan Health System's Breast Imaging (Mammograms) webpage
- American Cancer Society recommendations for early breast cancer detection
- National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Screening
- National Cancer Institute mammograms guide
Still have questions?
The nurses at Cancer AnswerLine™ have answers. Call 1-800-865-1125 and you'll get a personal response from one of our registered nurses, who have years of experience in caring for people with cancer.