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Home > Health Library > Breast Cancer Screening
The type and frequency of breast cancer screening that is best for you changes as you age.
You can find out your personal risk level at www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool.
Early detection is an important factor in the success of breast cancer treatment. The earlier breast cancer is found, the more easily and successfully it can be treated. Tests used for screening include:
Make sure you know what your breasts normally look and feel like. When you know what is normal for you, you are better able to notice changes. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your breasts.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast may be used as a screening test for women who have a high risk of breast cancer. This includes women who test positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, or have two or more close family members who have had breast cancer before age 50. MRI may also be useful for women who have breast implants or for women whose breast tissue is very dense.
Your breast density can affect how clearly your breast tissue can be seen on a mammogram. Still, if you have dense breasts and if nothing else increases your risk for breast cancer, a mammogram is the recommended test for you.
For more information, see the topic Breast Cancer.
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Other Works Consulted
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2011). Breast cancer screening. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 122. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 118: 372–382.
Oeffinger KC, et al. (2015). Breast cancer screening for women at average risk 2015 guideline update from the American Cancer Society. JAMA, 314(15): 1599–1614. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.12783. Accessed January 21, 2016.
Siu AL, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016). Screening for breast cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, published online January 12, 2016. DOI: 10.7326/M15-2886. Accessed January 12, 2016.
Current as of: December 19, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineDouglas A. Stewart, MD, FRCPC - Medical Oncology
Current as of:
December 19, 2018
Medical Review:Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Douglas A. Stewart, MD, FRCPC - Medical Oncology
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