The first sign of breast cancer usually shows up on a woman’s mammogram before it can be felt or any other symptoms are present.
Risks for breast cancer include a family history, atypical hyperplasia, delaying pregnancy until after age 30 or never becoming pregnant, early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after age 55), current use or use in the last ten years of oral contraceptives, and daily consumption of alcohol.
Early detection of breast cancer, through monthly breast self-exam and particularly yearly mammography after age 40, offers the best chance for survival.
Ninety-six percent of women who find and treat breast cancer early will be cancer-free after five years.
Over eighty percent of breast lumps are not cancerous, but benign such as fibrocystic breast disease.
Oral contraceptives may cause a slight increase in breast cancer risk; however 10 years after discontinuing use of oral contraceptives the risk is the same as for women who never used the pill.
You are never too young to develop breast cancer! Breast Self-Exam should begin by the age of twenty.