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Home > Be Healthy > Health Library > Breast Cancer Screening
The type and frequency of breast cancer screening that is best for you changes as you age.
You can find out your personal risk level at www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool.
Early detection is an important factor in the success of breast cancer treatment. The earlier breast cancer is found, the more easily and successfully it can be treated. Tests used for screening include:
Make sure you know what your breasts normally look and feel like. When you know what is normal for you, you are better able to notice changes. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your breasts.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast may be used as a screening test for women who have a high risk of breast cancer. This includes women who test positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, or have two or more close family members who have had breast cancer before age 50. MRI may also be useful for women who have breast implants or for women whose breast tissue is very dense.
Your breast density can affect how clearly your breast tissue can be seen on a mammogram. Still, if you have dense breasts and if nothing else increases your risk for breast cancer, a mammogram is the recommended test for you.
For more information, see the topic Breast Cancer.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Other Works Consulted
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2011). Breast cancer screening. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 122. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 118: 372–382.
Oeffinger KC, et al. (2015). Breast cancer screening for women at average risk 2015 guideline update from the American Cancer Society. JAMA, 314(15): 1599–1614. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.12783. Accessed January 21, 2016.
Siu AL, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016). Screening for breast cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, published online January 12, 2016. DOI: 10.7326/M15-2886. Accessed January 12, 2016.
Current as of:
August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineDouglas A. Stewart MD - Medical Oncology
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Douglas A. Stewart MD - Medical Oncology
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