Most breast cancers, more than 70 percent, are found by women themselves, either during monthly self-examination or by accident when showering or looking in the mirror.
If detected early, breast cancer can often be treated effectively with surgery that preserves the breast, followed by radiation therapy. Systemic chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy sometimes accompany this local therapy. Five-year survival after treatment for early-stage breast cancer is over 97 percent.
Early detection improves the chances that breast cancer can be located, diagnosed, and treated successfully.
Women should ask their doctor about:
Mammograms (x-rays of the breast)
Clinical breast exams (breast exams by a doctor or nurse)