The Importance of early detection

You should perform breast self-exams, receive clinical breast exams and have mammograms regularly as described below. Depending on your medical history, your doctor may recommend rmore frequent exams or beginning exams at an earlier age.

Breast Self-examination (BSE)
Women age 20 or older should learn how to do BSE and make it a monthly habit. The best time to do a BSE is the week following your period. If you are no longer menstruating, do a BSE on the first day of every month.

Clinical Breast Examination (CBE)
Usually your doctor will examine your breast as part of a routine check-up or when you have a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer. This is called a CBE. Women ages 20 to 39 should have a CBE once every three years, and then annually beginning at age 40.

Mammography can detect a tumor two years before it can be felt. It must be stressed, though, that mammograms are not a substitute for BSE. Since no diagnostic test is 100% accurate, cancers are sometimes detected through BSE that are missed through mammograms. Women should have their first mammogram between the ages of 35 and 39. This baseline mammogram will serve as a point of comparison for any later changes in the breast. Beginning at age 40, a woman should have a mammogram once a year.

Breast Health Resources

Download the following brochures on reducing your risk of breast cancer, questions and answers about breast health and breast cancer.

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Breast Cancer Prevention Resources

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Hold a self-examination and breast health seminar

Use the self-examination breast cards, as well as information provided in the Purpose Kit and on this web page to educate your co-workers on the importance of clinical breast exams, mammograms and breast self-exams.

Host a breast screening at work

Bring the breast screening to your workplace. Work with your HR manager, insurance company, or local health clinic.

Learn more about breast screenings by reading the National Cancer Institute’s information on breast cancer screening: