American Cancer Society Breast Health Guidelines
The following information was contributed by the American Cancer Society.
The goal of screening examinations for early breast cancer detection is to find cancers before they start to cause symptoms. Breast cancers that are detected because they cause symptoms tend to be relatively larger and likely to have spread beyond the breast. In contrast, breast cancers found during screening examinations are more likely to be small and still confined to the breast.
The American Cancer Society believes the use of mammography, clinical breast examination and breast self-examination offers women the best opportunity for reducing the breast cancer death rate through early detection. This combined approach is clearly better than any one examination. The American Cancer Society does not recommend relying solely on any of these methods.
American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer
If You Are Age 20 to 39:
- Have a clinical breast exam by your health care provider at least once every three years
- Do a breast self-exam each month
If You Are Age 40 and Over:
- Have a mammogram every year
- Have a clinical breast exam by your health care provider every year
- Do a breast self-exam each month
Ask your health care provider to teach you the proper way to do a thorough breast self-exam. Click for additional instructions.
If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, discuss mammography screening guidelines and scheduling with your health care provider.
Basic Facts About Breast Health:
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
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Breast Cancer Glossary
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Breast Cancer Risk Factors
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Self-Care and Recovery
Self-Care and recovery resources including an Introduction to Lifestyle Change, Nutrition and Breast Cancer, Hydration: Water and Health, Meditation and more.
Breast reconstruction, surgery to rebuild a breast's shape, is often an option after mastectomy and is covered by some health insurance plans. Learn more now.
Follow-Up Care for Breast Cancer Patients
After patients have completed treatment for early stage breast cancer, one of the common questions is, "How should I best be monitored?" Learn more here.
Mastectomy: Instructions Before Surgery
The following information will help you prepare for your upcoming Mastectomy surgery. If you have any questions, please contact the Breast Care Center staff.
Mastectomy: Instructions After Surgery
Post Mastectomy surgery instructions including, pain management, incision and dressing care, activity, diet, follow-up care and more.
Menopause and Breast Cancer
Breast cancer treatment often causes women to enter menopause prematurely. Although each woman reacts to therapy individually, certain side effects are common.
Metastatic Breast Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment
Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that originated in the breast and has spread to other organ systems in the body. Learn more here.
Navigating Your Path to Breast Care
Different services and information are needed at different points in breast health care and breast cancer treatment. Learn more here.
Osteoporosis and Breast Cancer
Women who have had breast cancer or are considered at high risk for developing breast cancer are at risk for developing osteoporosis. Learn more.
Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
The UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and the Department of Radiation Oncology have compiled information about radiation therapy for your convenience.
Knowledge may lead you to take action to protect your health and that of other women you care about: your mother, daughters, relatives and friends. Learn more.