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Will A Woman's Breast Change With Age?
Each woman's breast will change during her lifetime. The shape, size,
and the feel of one's breast will be influenced by monthly menstrual
cycles, childbirth, breast-feeding, birth control pills or hormone
replacement therapy, menopause, weight changes, and age. You should
examine your breasts on the same day of the month as a routine health
habit. When you do breast self-examination, you are looking for a lump
or an unusual thickening that feels different from the rest of your
breast. Look for:
- a lump or thickening in the breast;
- a change in skin texture;
- a nipple discharge (fluid coming from the nipple); or
- a change in breast size or shape.
If you find any changes, you should report them
to your Health Care Provider immediately.
Who Is At Risk For Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer effects everyone. Although about 99% of all breast
cancers occur in women, men get breast cancer too.
Age: About 75 percent of all breast cancers are found
in women over the age of 50.
What Can You Do?
Family History: The risk increases for woman whose mother,
sister or daughter has had the disease.
Other risk factors include: Having your first menstrual
period at an early age, having a late menopause, having your first
child after the age of 30, or never having children can put you
Whether your risk of breast cancer is low or high, there are some
practical steps that you can take. The American Cancer Society (ACS)
recommends the following Screening Guidelines for early detection:
What Is A Mammogram?
- If you are age 40 or older, mammograms should be done every year.
- Get yearly breast exams by your health care provider.
- Perform monthly breast self-examinations.
A mammogram is a low dose x-ray picture of the breast. There are
two purposes for which a mammogram is used:
- A screening mammogram is used to find cancer even before a lump
can be felt.
- A diagnostic mammogram is a procedure that can be done at any age for
changes in breast size, discharge, or lump
Women should get a mammogram where the equipment, technologists,
physicians and procedures meet the nationally recognized standards,
such as accreditation by the American College of Radiology and certification
by the Food and Drug Administration.
Will Your Insurance Pay For A Mammogram?
State law requires that
private health insurance/health maintenance organizations cover the
cost of screening mammography, based on the American Cancer Society’s
If you are age 40 years or older, call one of the NJCEED screening programs
listed below to see if you are eligible for free screening services. If you
are 65 years or older and receive Medicare, screening mammograms performed
at a Medicare-approved facility are covered every year.
Ask the facility if it is approved by Medicare to perform screening
If you receive Medicaid, screening mammography based on the American Cancer
Society screening guidelines is covered. Diagnostic mammograms are generally
covered by insurance programs.
Women's Screening Services:
The NJCEED Program offers the following services to women enrolled in the
program: screening mammograms, clinical breast examinations, instructions on
breast self-examinations, Pap tests, pelvic examinations, and colorectal cancer
screenings. When indicated, further diagnostic tests are performed, such as
needle biopsies, breast ultrasounds and colposcopies. Case management, tracking
and follow-up are provided to all women and major emphasis is placed
on rescreening women who are currently being served by the program.
- Biopsy: Surgically removing a small piece of tissue that is
checked under a microscope for cancer cells. A small tumor can frequently
be removed at the time of the biopsy.
- Breast self-examination (BSE): A monthly self-breast exam.
- Cancer: Abnormal uncontrolled growth of cells.
- Diagnostic mammogram: A special breast x-ray done to evaluate
changes in breast size, discharge, and/or lumps(s).
- Fibrocystic disease of the breast: A non-specific diagnosis
for a condition in which there are lumps that you can feel.
- Needle biopsy: Removing tissue through a hollow needle that
is inserted into the breast lump. This tissue is then checked for cancer
- Screening: A procedure to detect cancer in people who are
- Tumor: An abnormal growth of tissue (lump). Tumors can be
either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
|IF YOU OR YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FIND
A LUMP IN YOUR BREAST,
YOU SHOULD REQUEST A BREAST CANCER SCREENING.
If you do not have a Health Care Provider,
call your county medical society, or one of the numbers listed
Toll Free Calls:
- Y-Me Breast Cancer Hotline : 1-800-221-2141
- Cancer Information Services : 1-800-4-CANCER
- American Cancer Society : 1-800-ACS-2345
- New Jersey Cancer Education
Early Detection: (609) 292-8540
New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Screening Programs (NJCEED)
||(856) 935-7510 x 8480
||(908) 526-2335 x 112