Importance of Screening
I found a lump myself. It was very small. I had been doing regular monthly breast exams. A couple of days later they confirmed it was breast cancer.

Over the last several years there has been much debate over the recommendations, risks and benefits of routine breast cancer screening. At what age should women start receiving routine mammograms? Which type of screening is most beneficial? Are MRI’s and ultrasounds necessary and effective? Do the pros of mammography outweigh the cons? Are we entering an age of “over-diagnosis”?

The biggest message that everyone needs to remember is that breast cancer is very curable if it's caught early. When people are unaware of the symptoms and don't catch it early, that's when it's more of a problem. -- Deannie E.

With all of the debate, an undeniable truth is this: early detection saves lives. The earlier a breast cancer is detected the more treatable and curable it is. A tumor’s size and whether or not it has infiltrated surrounding tissue are key determinants in a woman’s prognosis.

It’s important to remember that even though regular screening is necessary, it is not perfect. No one knows your body better than you and you are your own best advocate for your breast health. Talk to your doctor and develop a screening plan that is best for you.

"I started to have some breast tenderness which I attributed to hormonal changes. I felt a part of my breast that didn't feel like a lump but it felt firm."
"I found the lump myself. I had been doing regular, monthly breast checks."
"It was hard to believe that it could be cancer. I was diagnosed with DCIS, which is stage zero, non-invasive breast cancer."
"I was diagnosed from a routine mammogram. It was actually microcalcifications, so it was nothing I could feel."
"I had no symptoms at all and I couldn't feel the lump and actually there were two. Fortunately I went for that mammogram. It's not that big of a deal."
"I actually noticed a physical change in the nipple area of my breast. There wasn't any lump. There wasn't any dent. I had never heard of that as a symptom before."
"I never looked forward to those appointments. Is it the apprehension of them finding something or is it the discomfort of the appointment itself?"
"My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was a girl, so I was already being screened regularly and that's the only reason we caught it early. We caught it in stage one."