4. Repeat step 3 in an upright position. (The shower is the best place for this, using plenty of soap.)
Note: A lump can be any size or shape and can move around or remain fixed. Of special concern are specific or unusual lumps that appear to be different from the normal varying thicknesses in the breast.
|Click the icon to see an image of a breast self-exam.|
Current Recommendations for Screening. Mammograms are very effective low-radiation screening methods for breast cancer. There is, however, debate on when women should begin to have mammograms and how frequently they should have them.
Most major professional groups, including The American Cancer Society and The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend that women have a mammogram every 1 - 2 years starting at age 40.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends:
- For women ages 40 - 49 years, the USPSTF does not recommend routine screening mammography. The decision to screen women in this age group should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking the patient's values regarding specific benefits and harms into account.
- For women ages 50 - 74 years, the USPSTF recommends that screening mammography be performed every other year.
Review Date: 11/08/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.