Understanding Screening

Mammogram — A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast. It is done with a special X-ray machine designed for this purpose. The picture is stored on film (standard) or into a computer (digital). A mammogram can find many cancers before they can be felt.

Clinical breast exam — A breast exam by a health careprovider should be part of your regular medical checkup. If it is not, ask for it. A clinical breast exam includes a visual examination and carefully feeling the entire breast and underarm area. If you are 40 or older, schedule your mammogram close to the time of your clinical breast exam.

Breast self-exam (BSE) — A tool that may help you learn what is normal for you. BSE includes looking at and feeling your breasts. Many women have a pattern of lumpiness in their breasts, which is normal. But if you feel any change or a new lump in your breasts or underarms, ask your doctor to examine the area. (For step-by-step BSE instructions, go to www.komen.org/bse.)