Breast Self-Awareness

Except for skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, but it can be successfully treated. Screening tests can find cancer early, when chances for survival are highest.

1. Know your risk

  • Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history
  • Talk to a doctor about your risk of breast cancer

2. Get screened

  • Talk with a doctor about 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 3 years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40
  • Sign up for your screening reminder at www.komen.org/reminder

3. Know what is normal for you
See a doctor if you notice any of these breast changes:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

To see illustrations of these warnings signs, please visit the breast cancer Warning Signs & Symptoms page

4. Make healthy lifestyle choices