The Mammogram

A yearly screening test that could save your life.

Scheduling your yearly appointment with your doctor? Make sure your visit includes the appropriate early detection tests for breast cancer, such as a mammogram or clinical breast exam. It could save your life.

Yearly mammograms and breast exams for women age 40 and older can find breast cancer early, when the disease is most treatable.

Getting screened for breast cancer can make a dramatic difference in a woman's chances of surviving this disease. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer that has not spread to lymph nodes or other locations outside the breast in 98 percent. However, if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, the rate drops to 84 percent. And if the cancer has spread to other organs, the rate drops to 24 percent.

So don't wait—ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you, and remind the women you care about to get a mammogram and breast exam every year once they turn 40.

Remember, though, that testing for breast cancer is not perfect. Mammograms and breast exams can miss some breast cancers, so be sure to tell your doctor about any changes in the way your breasts look and feel right away.

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