Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer screening involves checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. Screening and Detection is important because, usually, the earlier the breast cancer is detected, before it is big enough to cause symptoms, the easier it is to treat.

Breast cancer is caused by damage to a cell’s DNA and there are a certain risk factors that put individuals are higher risk of developing it. These include:

If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes you may be at higher risk for developing breast cancer. If so, it is even more important to get regular breast screenings done.

Screenings should be done every 2 years, from age of 50 to 74. If you are 40 to 49 years old, or have risk factors, ask your doctor when to have a screening mammogram.

Screenings are performed by having either a mammogram , breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or breast ultrasound done. Your Ob/Gyn can perform these services. If not, you can get a referral to get the screening done by another medical care provider or specialist.

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Mammograms can’t prove that an abnormal area is cancer, but they can help health care providers decide whether more testing is needed.

During a Mammogram, this is what you can Expect:

Most health insurance plans are required to cover mammograms every one to two years for women beginning at age 40 with no out-of-pocket cost (like a co-pay, deductible, or co-insurance).
Mammograms are recommended over a Clinical Breast Exam. A Clinical Breast Exam is an examination by a doctor or nurse, who uses his or her hands to feel for lumps or other changes. Having a clinical breast exam or doing a breast self-exam has not been found to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer.

For more information, check out these websites:

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