Although you can’t really prevent breast cancer, you can still be breast self-aware and to try to lower your risk by following these basic steps:
1. Know your risk
- Learn the risk factors
- Talk to your family to learn about your family history
- Talk to your doctor about your own risk of breast cancer
2. Get checked by your doctor
- Ask your doctor what tests are right for you
- Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are of average risk (your doctor will help you determine your risk). There are other screening tests besides that could be used in certain situations (e.g. an MRI or ultrasound).
- Have a clinical breast exam (when your doctor looks at and feels your breast).
- Every three years starting at the age of 20
- Every year starting at age 40
3. Know what your breasts normally look and feel like.
The warning signs for breast cancer include things you can see and things you can feel. Six of the eight Warning Signs are visual signs. Any change in your breast that does not go away is something you should see your doctor about.
4. Make healthy choices.
There are steps you can take that may help to lower your risk of getting breast cancer. You should:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Add exercise into your routine
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit postmenopausal hormone use
- Breastfeed, if you can
We all get busy and have so much to do, but it is important to remember to make time to take care of your breast health, which includes being aware of the warning signs and risk factors and how your breasts normally look and feel. Take action and visit your doctor for regular exams and if you notice any breast health changes that concern you.
Breast Self-Awareness Message Videos