No matter your age, you should know your breasts and what is normal for them. Many people are alive and well today because they were aware of their bodies and were screened regularly. Self-awareness and early screening help doctors detect and treat breast cancer early.
It’s important to know that screening tests for cancer are not perfect. For example, a screening test may seem to show cancer when none is there, or may not show cancer when it is present. But overall, screening mammography is the most reliable method of checking for breast cancer.
Your health care provider may examine your breasts (a clinical breast examination) during regular physical exams or if you notice a change.
If you are:
40 to 49, talk to your health care provider about your risk of breast cancer and the benefits and risks of mammography
Over 50, have a mammogram (breast x-ray) every 2 years
At high risk of developing breast cancer, start breast screening at age 30.
For most people, high risk is linked to a family history of breast or other cancers. If you have a history of cancer in your family, you may wish to seek genetic counselling.
Learn more about genetic counselling at the Familial Cancer Clinic »
Princess Margaret is an accredited centre of the Ontario Breast Screening Program.
Find a breast screening centre near you »
For more information on breast cancer, visit: