Early detection can save your life!

No one knows the exact cause of breast cancer. Some risk factors increase the chances of developing breast cancers, although most people with breast cancer have no clear risk factors.

Over 240,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Risk factors

  • Increased age
  • Personal history of breast cancer
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Breast density
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Reproductive and menstrual history (late child bearing and/or early menstruation)
  • Genetic changes (BRCA1 and BRCA2)

Screening Guidelines

Ages 40 and older:

  • Annual mammogram
  • Annual clinical breast exam
  • Monthly self-breast exam

Ages 20-39:

  • Clinical breast exam every three years*
  • Monthly self-breast exam

All ages:

  • Report any breast changes (lumps, skin changes, pain, nipple discharge, etc.) to your healthcare provider.

*talk to your healthcare provider about starting mammography screening earlier if you are at increased risk of breast cancer because of family history, a genetic tendency or past breast cancer. Also, see if an increased risk supports more frequent exams or additional tests, such as ultrasound or MRI.