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How to Do a Breast Self-Exam

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How to Prevent Breast Cancer from Happening to You

1. Know your risk

  • Talk to your family to learn about your family health history.
  • Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer.

 
2. Get screened

  • Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk.
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk.
  • Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40.

3. Know what is normal for you

See your healthcare provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:

  • Lump, hard knot, or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness, or darkening
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that does not go away

 
4. Make healthy lifestyle choices

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Add exercise into your routine
  • Limit alcohol intake

 

Originally published by Komen.org. Reprinted with permission.

 

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