Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. Breast-cancer screening means checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before she has any symptoms. A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. Most women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, or think you may have a higher risk of breast cancer, ask your doctor when to have a screening mammogram.
Can’t afford a mammogram? If you have a low income or do not have insurance and are between the ages of 40 and 64, you may qualify for a free or low-cost mammogram through the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. To learn more, call (800) CDC-INFO.
If you have risk factors, you may be more likely to get breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about ways to lower your risk and about screening.
Other conditions can cause these symptoms. If you have any signs that worry you, call your doctor right away.