Breast exams form a very important part of healthy routine physical checkups. Understandably, breast cancer can be a very scary topic that most people don't want to discuss. That said, getting regular checkups is the only way to look out for any visible changes in your breasts.
Although breast cancer screening is not a prevention tool, it can help in the early detection of cancer when it's easy to treat. In light of this, you should talk to your doctor about how often you need to get tests, depending on your age and other risk factors.
How Often Should I Take Breast Cancer Exams?
How often you should get breast exams is determined by several factors, such as age and risk. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. However, everyone should learn to carry out self-breast exams at least once every month.
The following are recommended breast examination check frequencies for various age categories with an average risk. Additionally, note that though uncommon, men and people of any gender also need breast exams and can develop breast cancer.
20 to 39 Years
Persons in this age bracket should get a screening every one to three years.
40 to 75 Years
People in this age category should get an annual clinical breast exam and a mammogram to check for breast cancer.
76 and Above
Individuals above this age should discuss their health history with their doctor. Only a healthcare provider can advise if it is necessary to get regular screenings after this age.
The following are the main risk factors linked to breast cancer, as highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Age. The risk of getting breast cancer increases as you grow older. Most individuals get a diagnosis at the age of 50.
- Previous breast cancer diagnosis. Individuals who have had breast cancer before have a high likelihood of developing it a second time.
- Reproductive history. Getting menstrual periods at a very young age and hitting menopause after age 55 increases the risk of developing it.
- Having large breasts. Women with large breasts are more likely to develop breast cancer because it can be hard to detect tumors on a mammogram.
- A history of radiation therapy. Individuals who have had radiation therapy in their chest area before age 30 have an increased likelihood of developing it.
It is also worth noting that certain lifestyle factors can increase your chances of developing it later in life. These include: not being physically active, being obese, overindulging in alcohol, and taking some types of hormone replacement therapy after menopause.
At Senior Helpers of Santa Rosa, we strive to make aging in place as easy as possible. We offer specialized breast screening services in Santa Rosa, and we are always available to cater to the needs of your loved ones as they age. For additional tips on breast cancer screening for aging adults or to learn more about our services in Santa Rosa, contact us today.