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Breast health should be lifelong

January 29, 2016 Senior Health

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. About one in eight (12 percent) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2015 are:

  • About 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women
  • About 60,290 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer)
  • About 40,290 women will die from breast cancer

There are many risk factors for breast cancer. Aging, genetics, family history of breast cancer, and race/ethnicity are some of the most common. The American Cancer Society recommends the screening guidelines below.

  • Yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
  • Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.
  • Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Request an appointment for a mammogram online

Some women—because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors—should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than two percent of all women in the United States.) Talk with a doctor about your history and whether you should have other tests or start testing at an earlier age.

Find a breast imaging center near you