Breast cancer screening plays a vital role in catching developing malignancies before they produce noticeable symptoms. Professional screening is performed by the breast cancer team at Moffitt Cancer Center. They will look for signs of all types of breast cancer, including HER2 positive cancers.
What does breast cancer screening involve?
Several techniques may be used to check for early signs of breast cancer. The most common include:
- A mammogram – breast X-ray
- Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – radio waves that produce detailed pictures of breast tissue
- A clinical breast exam – a clinician uses his or her hands to gently feel for breast lumps
You can also play an important role in your breast cancer screening. Take note of the shape and feel of your breasts. Breast tissue is typically lumpy, so familiarizing yourself with what’s normal for you will help ensure that any abnormal lumps will stand out to you during your self-exams, which you should perform on a monthly basis.
How often should I be screened?
Your age and family history will influence how often you should receive breast cancer screening. Moffitt Cancer Center recommends women who are considered to be at an average risk for breast cancer to begin annual mammograms at 40. Women at a higher risk for breast cancer, including those with a personal or family history of breast disease, may want to consider beginning annual screenings as early as age 25.
It is important to note that these guidelines are general. Regardless of your age, it’s a good idea to consult with a physician about when to implement a breast cancer screening schedule, especially if you have a family history of breast cancer or have had a breast condition in the past.
Moffitt’s Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program provides individualized breast cancer screening services in accordance with each woman’s risk level. Our experts can evaluate your risk factors and determine an optimal screening schedule to accommodate your needs.