Early Detection of Breast Cancer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
Beginning at age 20, a woman should examine her breasts every month. Changes to look for include:
- any new lump (which may not be painful or tender);
- unusual thickening of the breasts;
- sticky or bloody discharge from the nipples;
- any changes in the skin of the nipples or breasts (such as puckering or dimpling);
- an unusual increase in the size of one breast; and
- one breast unusually lower than the other.
Women should also have regular mammograms beginning at age 50 — this is the single most effective method to detect breast changes that may be cancer, long before physical symptoms can be seen or felt. A family physician can advise patients about the risks and benefits of getting a mammogram and how often a person should have one, based on age, family history and other important factors.
More than 90 out of 100 women whose breast cancer is found early, before it spreads beyond the breast, can be cured.
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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents more than 93,500 family physicians, family practice residents and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical specialty organization devoted solely to primary care. Visit www.aafp.org for more information about the AAFP.
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.