Breast cancer is a horrific disease that can be fatal if it is not detected in its early stages. This is very important because like all other forms of cancer, there comes a point when the cancer spreads throughout the body to such an extent that even chemotherapy would not be an effective way to eradicate the cancer cells. The time at which cancer is detected can literally determine whether a person lives or dies. This is why women need to take breast cancer detection very seriously. It is important to know the various breast cancer symptoms. The Breast Cancer Society is doing their part to raise awareness about this disease and help those who have already been affected. Here is how to detect breast cancer early.

1. Get a mammogram

If you are already past the age of 40 and you have not started to get mammograms on a regular basis, you are taking an unnecessary risk where your life is concerned. Most insurance providers will cover the cost of these screenings, so there is really no reason why you should not get one. Ideally, a woman should have one of these procedures performed every year after turning 40. This is according to the American Cancer Society.

2. Perform regular exams on yourself

Although getting a mammogram every year is great, it is not enough. You must always remain vigilant in your effort to prevent cancer. Therefore, in between your annual screenings, you should perform regular self-exams. Ask your doctor to show you the correct way to do this. It is important to know how your breasts feel when they are normal. This will allow you to feel any abnormalities that may appear in the future.

3. Know your family history

The history of breast cancer in your family can play a huge role in whether or not you eventually develop this disease. Actress Angelina Jolie decided to have both of her healthy breasts removed because her family history indicated that she had a very high risk of developing breast cancer. Knowing your level of risk will help you to make decisions and be proactive, just like Angelina.

4. Ask for your results immediately

It is possible to get your mammogram results on the same day you have the procedure performed. It is also a good idea to wait around after your mammogram. Occasionally, the images will not be clear and they will need to perform the mammogram a second time.