One day there may be a single method for the early detection of breast cancer. Until then, using a combination of methods will increase your chances of detecting cancer in an early stage. These methods include:
- Annual breast thermography screening for women of all ages.
- Mammography, when considered appropriate for women who are age 50 or older (please see risks and benefits in PDF below)
- Personal awareness for changes in the breasts.
- Readiness to discuss quickly any such changes with a doctor.
Please read "Screening for Breast Cancer with Mammography" and share with your doctor and loved ones the benefits and harms that accompany mammography screening. In it you will find:
What are the benefits and harms of attending a screening programme?
How many will benefit from being screened, and how many will be harmed?
What is the scientific evidence for this?
This 13 page well-referenced information leaflet has been translated into 17 languages and was called "the first honest mammography information for women written by health professionals" by the US Center for Medical Consumers. It's published by an internationally respected source of medical information, the Cochrane Collaboration, 27,000+ volunteer professional research analysts all over the world, working to distill the truth and bias out of the published data.
The leaflet's data is based on this meta-analysis by Cochrane of 7 randomized controlled trials of 600,000 women.