All women are at risk for breast cancer – even those who don’t have a family history of the disease. That’s why it’s important to remind the women you know – your mother, aunt, grandmother, best friend, daughter – of the facts about breast cancer.
Finding It Early Matters ~ Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. In fact, one of every eight women will develop the disease. While we are learning more and more about breast cancer, a woman’s best defense is finding the cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage.
Today, the best method of early detection is a three-pronged approach: annual mammograms for women starting at age 40; clinical breast exams by a health care professional annually for women age 40 or older, every three years for women in their 20s and 30s; breast self-examinations optional for women starting in their 20s. If you are 40 or older, mammograms are extremely important, because they can detect abnormalities in the breast several years before you or your doctor can feel a lump.
There Is Help ~ If breast cancer has touched your life, you are not alone. The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers a wide range of information to help patients and their families make decisions about their treatment. The ACS also has a number of programs to help patients and family cope with the disease, including a program that matches patients with survivors who have “been there”.