Three-Step Plan for Preventative Care
Although there are some women who are at higher risk, the fact is that all women are at risk for breast cancer. That is why it is so important to follow this three-step plan for preventive care. Although breast cancer cannot be prevented, early detection of problems provides the greatest possibility of successful treatment.
1. Routine Breast Self-Exam (BSE) – A woman should begin practicing BSE by the age of 20 and continue throughout her life at the same time every month. Regular BSE teaches women to know how their breasts normally feel so you can detect any changes more easily. See the steps in performing a BSE.
2. Clinical Examination – A breast examination by a physician or clinician trained to evaluate breast problems should be part of a woman’s regular physical examination. Between the ages of 20 and 30, women should have a clinical breast examination by a health professional every three years.
3. Mammography – The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends yearly screening for all women ages 40 and older. Digital Mammography, an X-ray of the breast tissue, is the most effective way to detect breast cancer in its earliest stage.
Consult your health care provider regarding the screening guideline most appropriate for you.
Resources From Meridian Health
Breast health is a personal experience for a woman, and every woman’s health needs are different and unique. From adolescent years through senior years, women experience changes in their breasts, and need to monitor these changes through self-awareness, breast self-examination and routine care to help prevent breast issues, including cancer. At Meridian Health we offer resources – from prevention and wellness to treatment and recovery – for every woman, so she can keep herself healthy. Learn more about breast health and a variety of women’s health topics at the Meridian Health Wellness Center.