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Breast Cancer Screening & Prevention

Breast Center

Your Breast Care Starts With You

1 in 8 women in the United States is expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, but you can significantly affect the outcome. Learn about screening guidelines, prevention tips, risk factors, and symptoms to watch for so you can take an active role in your breast health.

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General Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

Early detection is the best protection.


Breast cancer is sometimes found after symptoms appear, but many women with breast cancer have no symptoms which is why regular self-exams and breast cancer screenings are so important.

The following screening guidelines are for women at average risk for breast cancer.

(For screening purposes, a woman is considered to be at average risk if she does not have a personal history of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (such as in a BRCA gene), and has not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30.)

If you’re considered higher risk, your doctor may recommend more frequent breast exams and/or to start having mammograms before age 40. If you have a family history, you may also be recommended for genetic cancer screening.

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Lifestyle Modifications to Help Minimize Your Breast Cancer Risk

Although there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are several lifestyle changes you can make that may lower your likelihood of getting it. 

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    Avoid or limit alcohol

    Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day.

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    Be physically active

    Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.

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    Choose a healthy diet

    Eat a diet high in plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.

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    Limit hormone therapies

    Talk with your doctor about your options to control your menopause symptoms.

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    Quit smoking

    Make this year the year you finally quit smoking for good. 

    Get started today

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Unfortunately, there are a number of important breast cancer risk factors that women have no control over. Knowing which ones apply to you can help you understand your risk and take precautions to lower it.

Breast Cancer Signs & Symptoms

Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. Some common symptoms to watch for include:

  • Lump or mass in the breast or armpit
  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Change in size or shape of the breast
  • Nipple discharge or tenderness
  • Skin irritation or rash
  • Dimpling or texture changes
  • New inversion of the nipple
  • Breast swelling or thickening

Please keep in mind that having any one of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. They can indicate other problems that need to be treated. Talk with your primary care physician or OBGYN if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.


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If you have questions, concerns, or would like more information on the breast services offered at the Breast Center, please contact us.