Health Watch — Breast Cancer: Early Detection

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so this week on Health Watch, we’ll be talking about women and cancer. Although breast cancer can be a frightening diagnosis, with early detection it has one of the highest five-year survival rates of all cancers.

Dr. Phil Evans, director of the Center for Breast Care at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the key to early detection is annual mammograms and monthly self exams. Most women should start annual mammograms at age 40, while those in high-risk groups, such as those with a family history of breast cancer, should talk to their doctors about when they should begin getting annual mammograms. Women whose mothers were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40 should begin annual mammograms at 30.

Next: How do breast implants affect mammograms?      

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October 2007

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