The American Cancer Society’s guidelines should be followed. Mammograms miss some cancers but it is still the recommended screening modality.
Clinical Breast Exam: Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam preferably every 3 years. After age 40, women should have a breast exam by a health expert every year. It’s a good idea to do a breast self-exam (BSE) before the clinical exam to become familiar with what your breast feel like.
Breast Awareness and Breast Self-Exam (BSE): BSE is an option for women starting in their 20s. If you do BSE on a regular basis, you will become familiar with how your own breasts feel and with this awareness, you are more likely to find a lump or suspicious area in the breast. The American Cancer Society has special programs to teach you how to examine your breast properly and cards describing the process can help you as you begin to examine yourself.