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Breast Health

What breast health screenings are available?Breast Cancer, Saint Joseph Cancer Center

The most common types of screening procedures used in breast exams:

  • Self breast exams -- This self breast screening can be done in the privacy of home and any changes should be shared with your health care provider.
  • Breast ultrasound -- This breast imaging exam uses sound waves to diagnose whether a lump or mass is cystic or solid. It may also be used for ultrasound guided procedures.
  • Mammography -- An X-ray of the breast used for screening or diagnosis. It finds tumors too small to be detected in a physical exam by your doctor.
  • Breast MRI -- For certain women at high risk of breast cancer, a screening Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is recommended along with a yearly mammogram.
  • Screening mammography -- For women with no current breast problems.
  • Diagnostic mammography -- For women with breast-related problems. You will receive immediate results from a certified mammography radiologist.

When do you need to get breast health screenings?

The American Cancer Society recommends the following guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer.

  • For women ages 40 or older:
    • Clinical breast exam every year
    • Breast self-exam every month
    • Mammogram every year
  • For women ages 20 to 39:
    • Clinical breast exam every three years
    • Breast self-exam every month
  • Earlier screening guidelines may be recommended depending on your personal risk factors.


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