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If you're like many of us, a visit with a health care professional leaves you feeling rushed or anxious—or both. So much so, that all the questions you thought of before going in fly right out of your head. But, a breast exam by your health care professional is also a great opportunity to get your questions answered about breast health. The next time you are due for your breast exam—every three years if you're age 20 to 39, and every year if you're 40 or older—bring these important questions with you:
- What is my risk for developing breast cancer?
- My mother had breast cancer. Will I develop it, too?
- What can I do to reduce my risks for developing breast cancer?
- What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
- How is breast cancer diagnosed?
- Are breast self-exams really worth doing? Will you show me how to do one?
- How often and when should I do a breast self-exam?
- What is a clinical breast exam? How often do I need to have one?
- What is a screening mammogram? Should I have one? Does it hurt?
- Are low-cost or free mammograms available? I'm not sure I can afford one.
- Can breast cancer be treated? What treatments are available?
- I've been taking birth control pills for years. Do they increase my risk for developing breast cancer?
- Does postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy cause breast cancer?