Breast Cancer Screening: When and How to Get Tested for Early Detection

By: Akshita Gupta  For: Date: 1st March 2023

1. Know your risk: The American Cancer Society recommends that women at average risk of breast cancer begin screening at age 45. However, if you have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors, you may need to start screening earlier or more frequently. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk factors.

2. Get regular mammograms: Mammograms are the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Women between the ages of 45 and 54 should get mammograms every year, while women 55 and older can switch to every other year, or continue with annual screening if they choose.

3. Perform regular self-exams: While mammograms are the gold standard for breast cancer screening, self-exams can also be helpful for detecting changes in your breasts. Get familiar with how your breasts look and feel, and report any changes to your doctor.

4. Know the warning signs: In addition to regular screening, it's important to know the warning signs of breast cancer, such as a new lump or mass, swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, breast or nipple pain, or nipple discharge. Report any unusual symptoms to your doctor right away.

5. Consider genetic testing: If you have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors, your doctor may recommend genetic testing to determine if you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

6. Be proactive about your health: Don't wait for your doctor to recommend screening - be proactive about your health and talk to your doctor about your breast cancer risk and screening options. By taking control of your health, you can improve your chances of detecting breast cancer early and achieving the best possible outcome.