Breast Cancer Overview

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Screening for breast cancer

The term screening refers to tests and exams used to find a disease like cancer in people who do not have any symptoms. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances that treatment will work. The goal is to find cancers before they start to cause symptoms.

The mammogram and clinical breast exam are the main tests recommended by the American Cancer Society to find breast cancer early. For women who are at high risk of breast cancer due to certain factors, the American Cancer Society also recommends breast MRI.

For more details, including the American Cancer Society guidelines, see our document Breast Cancer Prevention and Early Detection.

For more details about mammograms and breast MRI see our document Mammograms and Other Breast Imaging Procedures.


Last Medical Review: 09/09/2014
Last Revised: 09/09/2014