Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without normal control. Except for skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S. Breast cancer knows no boundaries - be it age, gender, socio-economic status or geographic location. But there is hope. Thanks to heightened awareness, early detection, improved treatment methods and increased access to breast health services, people have a greater chance of survival than ever before.
Breast Self Awareness (BSA)
1. Know your risk
Talk to your family to learn about your family health history
Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer
2. Get screened
Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk
Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
Have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40
3. Know what is normal for you
See your health care provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices
Maintain a healthy weight
Add exercise into your routine
Limit alcohol intake
Making sense of the ever-changing world of breast cancer can be very overwhelming though. The Understanding Breast Cancer section of komen.org is your one-stop resource for the latest information on breast cancer risk factors, early detection and screening, diagnosis, treatment and support. You can also find information on integrative and complementary therapies, life after treatment, quality of care and much more.
The Understanding Breast Cancer section was co-developed with Harvard Medical School faculty and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center staff.