Harvard Women's Health Watch

Making smart screening decisions: Part 2: Breast cancer

Learn which breast cancer screening tests you need, and when to have them.

Considering that one out of every eight of us will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, screening for this disease is among the most important tests we'll ever have. In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Harvard Women's Health Watch asked Dr. Pamela DiPiro, assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School to help us make sense of breast cancer screening recommendations.

Breast self-exams

Breast self-exams

To perform a breast self-exam, move your hand in an up-and-down pattern, starting from the underarm and moving across the breast to the middle of your chest. Look for any changes in size, shape, and contour. Also check for nipple puckering or discharge.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »