Breast Self Exam: “Create Your Early Detection Plan”

According to the National Cancer Institute:

  • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
  • When breast cancer is detected early, the 5 year survival rate is 98%
  • Over 30% of women are diagnosed after breast cancer has spread beyond the localized stage

Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Regular breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their health care providers. John Hopkins Medical Center states, “40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is a key for early detection.

What is an EDP?

An Early Detection Plan allows you to be proactive about your health by reminding you to perform routine breast exams and mammography, depending on your age and health history.

There are several reminder options including email alerts, calendar reminders, text messages, friend reminders/buddy systems, and even an App to download through the National Breast Cancer Foundation called Early Detection Plan. So get geared up to start or continue good practices for the rest of the year, it can make a difference.

Please consult with your health care provider regarding techniques for breast self-exams and guidelines for mammogram screening. And remember, the best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps detect the disease in its early stages.

Written by: Amy Deeley, MD