To check for breast cancer, a woman should perform a breast self-exam on a routine basis and visit a doctor's office for a mammography screening on a yearly basis according to the Susan G. Komen organization and the Breast Cancer Association. The mammography screening is recommended because it can catch breast cancer in its earliest stages.
Self-exams, on the other hand, must wait for symptoms to appear before they are helpful. Once the symptoms have appeared, the cancer is likely to be further along according to the Breast Cancer Association. Many women perform their self-exams in the shower because they are already naked and can examine their breasts closely in the light. Doctors recommend that women feel their breasts while standing, sitting and lying down for best self-exam results.
Any signs of a lump or thickening in the breast as well as redness, dark colors or swelling are signs of breast cancer that should be examined by a doctor reports the Susan G. Komen organization. Changes to the size of the breasts or a dimpling of the breast are also symptoms of breast cancer. Nipple discharge that occurs randomly can also be a sign of breast cancer. Most of these symptoms are also symptoms of other conditions as well, and only a doctor can make a diagnosis, reminds the Susan G. Komen organization.