Get Tested for Breast Cancer

The Basics
A mammogram can help your doctor find breast cancer early. You have a better chance of surviving breast cancer if it’s found early.

Take Action!
Call your doctor or clinic today to schedule a mammogram.

Start Today: Small Steps

The Basics

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Breast cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer during her lifetime. 

The good news is that mammograms can help find breast cancer early – before it spreads to other parts of the body. Most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

How often should I get mammograms?

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Mammograms use a very low level of x-rays, which are a type of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation is very low.

Mammograms can be used to screen (test) for breast cancer in women with no signs or symptoms. They can also help doctors figure out if cancer is causing a particular symptom ­– like a lump or another change in the breast.

When you get a mammogram, a technician will place your breast between 2 plastic plates and press it flat to get a clear picture. Getting a mammogram can be uncomfortable, but it doesn't last long.

It takes about 20 minutes to get mammograms. Learn more about mammograms

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in breast tissue. Like all cancers, breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body.

Talk with your doctor or nurse if you notice any of these changes:

Learn more about breast cancer.

What if the doctor finds something wrong with my breast?

Mammograms let the doctor or nurse look for lumps or other changes inside your breasts that you can’t feel from the outside. If your doctor finds a lump or another change in your breast tissue, you may need other tests to find out if it’s cancer or not.

The doctor or nurse may take a small bit of tissue from the breast for testing. This is called a biopsy.

Take Action!

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Talk with your doctor about when and how often to get mammograms.

Ask the doctor about your risk for breast cancer. 

Together, you and your doctor can decide what’s best for you.

What about cost?

The Affordable Care Act requires many health plans to cover mammograms for women over age 40. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get mammograms at no cost to you.

Check with your insurance company to find out what’s included in your plan. For information about other preventive services that most health plans cover under the Affordable Care Act, visit

If you don’t have private insurance, you can still get mammograms.

Get support.

Use these tips to get support when you get mammograms.

Make sure to ask when you will get your mammogram results. When you get the results, ask the doctor or nurse to explain what the results mean.  Learn more about mammogram results.

Get active.

Being active increases your chances of living longer. Physical activity helps prevent several types of cancer, including breast cancer. Learn more about how to get active

Get your well-woman visit.

Get a well-woman visit every year. Use this visit to talk with your doctor or nurse about important screenings and services to help you stay healthy.

Start Today: Small Steps

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