Reduce Your Risk1. Know your risk
-Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
-Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer
2. Get screened*
-Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk
-Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
-Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40
3. Know what is normal for you
See your health care provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:
-Lump, hard knot or thickening
-Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
-Change in the size or shape of the breast
-Dimpling or puckering of the skin
-Itchy, scaly sore rash on the nipple
-Pulling in of your nipple or other parts
-Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
-New pain in one spot that does not go away
Inspect your breasts from the following views in front of a mirror:
1. Holding your arms down at your sides
2. Holding your arms over your head
3. Pressing your hands on your hips to tighten your chest muscles
4. Bending forward with your hands on your hips.
Looking from these angels and poses allows you to better see possible changes in your breasts.
What to do if you discover a lump
First of all, do not panic. Eight out of ten breast lumps are NOT cancerous. Breast lumps are actually very common, especially in pre-menopausal women, and they normally go away by the end of a menstrual cycle. But do not ignore a change in your breast either. The best thing you can do is to see your doctor as soon as possible.
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
-Maintain a health weight
-Add exercise into your routine
-Limit alcohol intake
*For information on Komen's local free screening program, click here.