Did you know that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? Knowledge and early detection are key in battling breast cancer. The word cancer is something nobody wants to hear, but when breast cancer is detected early and is in the localized stage, the survival rate is high.

Each person’s breast health is in their own hands. That’s why doing monthly exams and annual screening mammograms are such a vital part of detecting early breast cancer and increasing your survival rate. One important fact to remember is that 85 to 90 percent of breast cancer is painless, so please get your annual screening mammogram even if you feel perfectly healthy.

Many signs and symptoms can go undetected without a thorough screening. Some symptoms can be caught early just by being proactive about your health.  
Here are some key tips to keep in mind about breast cancer. I encourage you to check in on your health as well as that of your loved ones.

  • Yearly, starting at the age of 40.
  • Earlier, if you have a family history of breast cancer, consult your physician to determine when you should begin screening.
  • Hospital or imaging center.
  • Perform self-exams.
  • Schedule yearly annual exams with your clinician.
  • Check in with family members and friends – remind your loved ones to take care of themselves.
  • Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood).
  • A new lump in the breast or underarm.
  • If you have any signs that worry you, see your doctor right away.
  • Each year in the United States, about 264,000 women get breast cancer and 42,000 women die from the disease.
  • Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. About one out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the United States is found in a man.
  • Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years or older. Breast cancer also affects younger women.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.