Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Advanced age
- Family history
- High-fat diet
- Excessive alcohol consumptions
Early detection of breast cancer is vitally important. Perform monthly breast self-examinations as an easy method of early detection. Regardless of your age or family history of breast cancer, contact your medical provider if you suspect you have a new lump or existing lump has changed in size or texture. In most cases, your medical provider will perform a breast examination and order imaging studies, such as mammography.
A mammogram is a breast X-ray that can reveal tumors that may be too small to be recognized by a breast exam. Mammography screening should generally start sometime between ages 40 and 50, earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors. Talk to your primary provider about when to begin mammography screening.