'I don't have any symptoms and I feel fine. I often check for lumps on my own, so I figure I'll notice if there's a problem.'
Many women with breast cancer don't have symptoms. That's why breast cancer screening is so important: Mammograms can catch cancer long before a tumor is big enough for you or your doctor to feel. This is important because cancer that's found early is easier to treat and to beat. The American Cancer Society says that close to 100 percent of women with cancer caught and treated in the earliest stages are still alive five years later.
'No one in my family has had breast cancer. Besides, I've lived this long without it, so I probably won't get it, either.'
Getting a regular mammogram is very important, even if you're healthy and don't have any risk factors. Almost 75 percent of breast cancer patients don't have a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors.
How to Be Your Own Breast Friend
If you're a woman over age 65 with an average risk of breast cancer:
Get a mammogram every two years.
Do a self-examination at least once a month.
If you have a higher risk for breast cancer or are over age 75: Talk with your doctor about the best breast screening plan for you.
Remember, there is no copayment for your screening mammogram. Not sure if you're due? Check your Health Check Record or contact your doctor. Be on the lookout for a reminder from SCAN, too.