Breast Health and Screening

February 15, 2017

Tips to Good Breast Health
  • Begin your Breast Self-Exams at age 20, at the end of your menstrual periods.  If you don’t have a menstrual period, then do the exam on the first day of the month

  • Get a clinical examination by your health care provider once every three years starting at age 20 and annually after age 40

  • Get annual screening mammogram at age 40.  Women under 40 with either a family history of breast cancer or other concerns about personal risk should consult with a health care provider about risk assessment and when to begin mammography or MRI screening


There are things you can do to find breast cancer early.  Breast cancer screenings look for signs of cancer before a woman has symptoms.  Screening can help find breast cancer early when it’s most treatable.  For preventative health care, three tests commonly used to detect breast cancer include:

  1. Mammography.  A safe, low-dose and highly accurate x-ray exam of the breasts to look for abnormal changes.  Starting at age 40, women should receive regular mammograms every 1 to 2 years.  Depending on factors such as your family history and general health, your doctor may recommend a mammography screening before age 40.

  2. Clinical breast exam (CBE).  It only takes 10 minutes.  The doctor will examine the breasts, under the arms, and skin for unusual changes.  CBW is recommended every 3 years for women 20-30 and annually for women age 40 and older.

  3. Breast self-exam (BSE).  Become familiar with the look and feel of your breasts and report any changes detected to your physician.  Consult your doctor for instructions and to ensure proper technique when performing a BSE.  Keep in mind lumps are not necessarily abnormal and can appear and disappear with the menstrual cycle.


Tips to Performing a BSE (hyperlink to the 3 BSE patterns. Refer to info from Bookmark)

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