Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addresses questions women might have regarding the risk factors and preventative measures that can be taken.
Who should get a screening mammogram?
If you are 50 to 74 years old, a screening mammogram is recommended every two years. Talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram if you are 40 to 49 years old.
What is the cost for a mammogram?
The CDC offers free or low-cost mammograms to women who qualify. Find out if you qualify here.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
There are different symptoms of breast cancer, and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include any change in the size or the shape of the breast, pain in any area of the breast, nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood) and a new lump in the breast or underarm. If you have any signs that worry you, be sure to see your doctor immediately.
How can I lower my risk?
The main factors that influence the risk for breast cancer include being a woman, being more than 50 years old and having breast cancer genes. Most women who get breast cancer have no known risk factors and no history of the disease in their families. There are things you can do to help lower your breast cancer risk, such as maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding exposure to carcinogens.
Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which breast cancer screening tests are right for you.
For more information visit the www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast.