Your Best Test: Mammograms vs. Breast Exams
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Your Best Test: Mammograms vs. Breast Exams

Regular breast exams are important -- but how do you choose between a mammogram or a hands-on clinical exam? Our expert compares these popular breast tests.
Question: "My doctor told me that mammograms save lives, but I read that they are no better than clinical breast exams. Who's right?"

Answer: The message behind the National Cancer Institute study you read is that an annual hands-on exam by a qualified health-care professional may be just as effective as a mammogram for tumor discovery. But the two tests combined are a better screen, says the American Cancer Society, which advises women over the age of 40 to have an annual mammogram. Add a monthly breast self-exam to comply with all ACS recommendations.

Originally published in Fitness magazine.