Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Breast cancer

All women should practice monthly breast self-exams and have a yearly breast exam performed by a qualified doctor. At the age of 35, women should have a baseline mammogram. Between the ages of 40 and 49, they should discuss with a health professional the advisability of screening with mammography, taking into account family history of breast cancer and other risk factors. After the age of 50, women should have a mammogram every one to two years.

If a woman has a history of breast cancer or breast cancer in her family (particularly a mother, sister or daughter), her doctor may want to examine her more often. If you feel that you are at greater risk for getting breast cancer because of your family history, call VCU Massey Cancer Center at (804) 828-0450. We can refer you to the appropriate resources.

Warning signs:

  • A lump or thickening in the breast or under the arm
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • A change in the color or feel of the skin of the breast or nipple (such as dimpling, puckering or scaling).