It is no secret that early detection is your best protection against breast cancer and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Former Lady Raider coach Marsha Sharp brought us some advice on this week's "Sharp Advice".
Fifty-six percent of women believe that a family history of breast cancer is the biggest predictor for developing the disease, but the truth is that fewer than 10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary. Age is the largest single factor.
Lindsey Kennelly, Arrington Breast Cancer Center Manager, says, "Actually you should start self-breast exams at age 20; you need to be aware of your body and you need to check your breast every month because you yourself are going to know your body more than, better than anyone else. The second thing would be yearly exams with your physician and then you should start your screening mammograms around age 40 unless you have a strong family history and then you and your physician may decide you need to start a little earlier than that."
Kennelly adds that it may not be better to do your breast self-exams more often than once a month because you need that time in between so that even slight changes in the breast will be more noticeable.