Some young women are at a higher risk for getting breast cancer at an early age compared with other women their age. If you are a woman younger than age 45, you may have a higher risk if …
Many factors can influence your breast cancer risk, and most women who develop breast cancer do not have any known risk factors or a history of the disease in their families. However, you can lower your risk of breast cancer in the following ways …
Schedule your mammogram.
If you’re 40 or older, or if you are at an increased risk for breast cancer, it’s time to have a mammogram. It’s not the most pleasant experience, but it’s certainly bearable, considering it can save your life.
Learn what to expect during a screening mammogram by listening to Cate Tyson talk about her first experience.
Experts recommend doing a breast self-examination once a month.
Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your hands on your hips. If you see any bulging of the skin, a nipple that has changed position, redness or swelling, bring it to your doctor’s attention.
Step 2: Now, raise your arms above your head and look for the same changes.
Step 3: While you’re at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).
Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.
Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.