October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is breast cancer awareness month. Recently, there has been some disagreement about the age at which mammography should begin. The American College of Gynecologist still recommends beginning mammography at age 40 in women with average risk. 
The American Cancer Society suggests starting at age 45.  Some health organizations suggest that women age 40-45, should discuss this matter with their health care practitioners regarding the best time to start.  All of these organizations do recommend yearly mammograms for women age 50 -75.
Clinical breast exams are recommended every 3 years, but many healthcare practitioners will do this exam during yearly physicals. Self-breast exams are still suggested; however, some women do not have confidence in their skill at detecting lumps.  Additionally, many women neglect to have mammograms out of fear of finding cancer.  Remember, the earlier breast cancer is caught the less treatment is needed for a cure.