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Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Care

If you have questions or concerns, always be sure to consult your doctor.

Can I get breast cancer if I’m only in my 20s?

While it’s true that the majority of women who develop breast cancer are age 50 or older, breast cancer can occur at any age. That’s why it’s important to get in the habit of examining your own breasts in your 20s.

Can the radiation in mammograms harm me?

Mammography gives off a very low dose of radiation. It’s generally agreed that the benefits of having screening mammograms far outweighs any risk of having them.

Breast cancer isn’t in my family, so I don’t need to worry about it. Right?

A family history of breast cancer is a risk factor, but it’s a relatively low factor. Surprisingly, more than 75% of women who develop breast cancer do not have significant risk factors.

I’m 30 and I’m worried about breast cancer. Can I get a mammogram to put my mind at ease?

Screening mammography is a vital tool for detecting cancer. However, it may not be right for every woman in every case. For example, younger women tend to have dense breasts that make it hard for a standard mammogram to spot lumps. Talk with your doctor about your individual concerns. He or she can offer guidance on the best screening tests and preventive care for you.

Do mammograms hurt?

Many women find mammograms uncomfortable; few describe them as painful. To help ease your discomfort, schedule you mammogram during the week before your period, when your breasts are less likely to be swollen and firm. During your mammogram, tell your imaging specialist if you’re experiencing pain.

Learn more about breast care and breast cancer screening.