The keys to early detection
Screening, looking for cancer in women who have no symptoms of the disease, is the key to early detection of breast cancer, according to National Cancer Institute. A regularly scheduled mammogram - an X-ray of the breast - coupled with clinical breast examination by a doctor or nurse - is the best available tool.
American Cancer Society recommends a screening mammogram and a clinical breast exam every year beginning at age 40.
Breast self-examination, done at the same time each month, also is receommended.
With arms at your sides, then raised above your head, look carefully for changes in the size, shape and contour of each breast. Look for puckerintg, dimpling or changes in skin texture while standing straight and bending forward.