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Breast Cancer

Are you a woman 40 years of age or older? Have you had a mammogram this year? A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast used to detect breast cancer. It can find breast cancer as early as 2 years before a lump can be felt. Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer in causing death in women. It can occur in any woman. About 178,000 American women, and about 1600 men, will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. In Michigan, 1700 women could die from it.

The best way to survive breast cancer is to detect it early and treat it. Early detection can increase survival rates by 92%. You can find cancer early by doing a self-breast exam and receiving yearly breast exams and mammograms by your health care provider. A woman should have her first breast x-ray at age 40. Women have a greater risk of breast cancer if they:

  • Are over age 50
  • Have a mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer
  • Have had cancer before
  • Never had a child
  • Had their first child after age 30
  • Began menstruation before age 12
  • Have nipple discharge and are not pregnant or nursing
  • Are 40% or more overweight

Most breast lumps are not cancer, but only a doctor can tell. Many insurance companies cover a yearly mammogram. Screening is available for women age 40 and older, with no insurance who meet certain income requirements through MDHHS’ BCCCNP via Ingham County.