Breast Cancer: FAQs

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The best way to detect breast cancer early is with a mammogram. If you are
a woman age 50 years or older, be sure to have a screening mammogram at least every two years.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

When breast cancer starts out, it is too small to feel and does not cause signs and symptoms. As it grows, however, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels.

What is a mammogram? 

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. If you are age 50 to 74 years, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are age 40–49 years, talk to your doctor about when and how often you should have a screening mammogram.

Why should I have a mammogram?

Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When their breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.

How can I lower my risk of breast cancer?


Control your weight and exercise. Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a
mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor what is your risk of getting breast cancer and how you can lower your risk. Find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Can men get breast cancer?

Men can also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men.