You can help to prevent breast cancer by getting screened for the disease regularly:

Have a breast exam every 3 years if you are younger than 40 and every 1 to 2 years if you are older than 40. Your doctor will examine your breasts, looking for any signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years starting at age 50. A mammogram can detect abnormal areas of breast tissue. Some experts believe mammography should start at age 40. Ask your doctor what makes sense for you.

If you have a close relative with breast cancer, your doctor may recommend starting screening earlier, more often, or with a different type of screening test. The same is true for women who inherit BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations because they have been shown to put women at very high risk of developing breast cancer.