Screening Tips

Cancer screening and medical tests should be performed even when a person has no symptoms. All women should be familiar with their breasts so that they will notice any changes and report them to their doctor without delay. M.D. Anderson recommends that clinical breast exams be scheduled every one to three years beginning at age 20. Beginning at age 40, yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams should be performed and continued for as long as a woman is in good health. Here are some tips.

  • Schedule a clinical breast exam at the time of or just before your regularly scheduled mammogram.
  • If you are age 35 or older, ask your doctor to calculate your breast cancer risk.
  • If you are at increased risk, your doctor may recommend that you begin screening earlier and more frequently. Talk to your doctor about medications that can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
  • For free information on breast health, contact M.D. Anderson's Public Education Office at 713.792.3363 or www.mdanderson.org/departments/publiced.

These recommendations are provided as a guide. If exam results suggest cancer, more extensive diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound or biopsy of the breast tissue, should be conducted.

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