• Prevention and early detection are critical to saving lives from breast cancer
  • Women must be empowered to take control of their health and utilize preventative health service




At the Preventive Breast Care Clinic, we :


  • One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime
  • Every 69 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies of breast cancer
  • When breast cancer is detected in its earliest stages, the five-year survival rate is 98-99%. That number falls to 23% when the disease is found at later stages
  • Early detection saves lives
  • Being breast aware is to perform a self breast examination monthly and  clinical breast examination by a breast specialist every year. This should be supplemented with annual screening mammography
  • Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important
  • Early detection is the key to survival
  • Early screening is the key


There is no vaccine to prevent breast cancer, however some habits that can reduce your risk and help prevent breast cancer are:

Stay Physically active 

  • Regular exercise for atleast 30 minutes per day, reduces the risk of breast cancer
  • Live a healthier life- Make healthy living a priority in your daily life and live a more balanced lifestyl

Maintain a healthy weight

  • Diet low in fat, red meat & processed meat, high in fruits & vegetables reduces breast cancer risk
  • Being overweight (BMI>25) or obese (BMI>30) increases the risk particularly after menopause

Do not smoke 

  • Smoking is associated with increased risk, particularly in premenopausal women

Limit alcohol consumption

  • Risk increase with the amount of alcohol
  • Those who have 2-3 drinks/day have about 20% higher risk of breast cancer 

Early Detection of Breast Cancer: Key Practices

#1 Breast Self Examination

Breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes. Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important. All women over the age of 20 years are advised to perform a self-breast exam once a month

Breast self-examination should be practiced once a month two to three days after your periods ends. In women who do not menstruate, it should be done on the same day of every month

1) In the Shower

With the flats of your 3 middle fingers, check the breast and armpit area pressing down with light, medium, and firm pressure. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side – from your collarbone to the top of the abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage. Feel for any lump, thickening, hardened knot, or any other breast changes

2) In Front of a Mirror 

Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead. Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles

3) Lying Down

Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move your fingers around your right breast gently covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast

While no single test can detect all breast cancers early, performing breast self-exam in combination with other screening methods like clinical breast exam and annual screening mammography can increase the rates of early detection. Breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider immediately

If you find a breast lump, there is no need to panic as most breast lumps are not cancerous. However, do not diagnose yourself at home. It is important to consult a breast specialist who can examine clinically and advise additional confirmatory investigations to rule out cancer

#2 Clinical Breast Exam

All women over the age of 30 years are advised to undergo a physical breast examination by a physician or breast specialist once a year. A clinical breast exam is essential and recommended even if you’re undergoing annual mammography, as some areas of the breast may not get included in a mammography image

Clinical breast exams are an important part of early detection. Although most lumps are discovered through routine breast self examination, experienced professional may notice a suspicious area that fails to register as a warning in the patient’s mind

Clinical breast exam is performed by a breast specialist who is trained to recognize different types of abnormalities and early warning signs. This OPD exam will most likely be completed by your breast specialist at your annual exam, whereas breast self exam is something which every woman

should do it herself once a month at home

#3 Screening Mammography

All women over the age of 40 years are advised to undergo screening mammography once a year. A mammogram is a specialized x-ray of the breast. During mammography, the breast tissue is placed between compression plates on the mammography machine and is exposed to a low dose x-ray beam that produces an image of the breast tissue. A screening mammogram, typically involves two views of each breast, one x-ray shot in the top-to-bottom direction (CC view) while the other is shot sideways (MLO view)

Mammograms can pick up cancers several months or years before they can be felt as a lump either by the patient or the doctor. Women who have small tumors picked up at an early stage have a higher chance of survival (98-99%) compared to those diagnosed at a more advanced stage. These small tumors are less likely to need removal of the entire breast and are also less likely to need chemotherapy and radiotherapy, compared to tumors diagnosed once they are felt as a lump

Women aged 40-45 years are usually advised mammography every 1-2 years. After the age of 45 years, the test is advised once every year. A baseline screening mammogram is performed at 40 years of age. After a detailed review of the patient’s risk factors and clinical examination, a personalized screening strategy is advised. In case of a strong family history or known genetic risk, screening may need to be started earlier and other imaging modalities may be advised besides mammography. Consult a breast specialist for a personalized screening plan

There is no specific age at which regular screening mammography should be stopped as risk of cancer continues to increase with age. As long as the individual is healthy enough to undergo treatments, annual mammography should be continued. Early detection improves outcomes

In healthy premenopausal individuals undergoing a regular screening mammogram, it is advisable to schedule the test in the week after the menstrual period when the breasts are less tender. Deodorants, talcum powders and antiperspirants around the breast or armpits before mammography should be avoided, as the salts contained in these may cause “specks” to appear on the mammogram. Previous mammography and ultrasound reports as well as images should be submitted for comparison. Any prior breast biopsy or surgery reports should also be made available to the radiologist

A mammogram delivers very low dose of radiation. The radiation dose from a mammogram is estimated to equal to about two months of constant background radiation in the environment that we are constantly exposed to and is much lower than radiation from other investigations such as CT scan of the chest. The benefits of mammography out weigh any possible harm from the radiation expose

If the mammogram shows an abnormal area of the breast, the patient is subjected to additional tests like high resolution ultrasonography to further characterize the lesion, followed by a biopsy for cytological confirmation. Although most of the lumps are non-cancerous, it is always recommended to completely evaluate the suspicious area with further imaging and biopsy

#4 Chemo- Prevention

Women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer can be prescribed medicines that can lower their risk of getting cancer. High risk patients include those with BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutations and high risk findings on breast biopsy such as Atypical ductal hyperplasia, Atypical lobular hyperplasia and Lobular carcinoma in situ. Tamoxifen in premenopausal women & Raloxifen and aromatase inhibitors in post menopausal women can be used to lower the risk. However these medicines can have side effects so it is important to assess the positive benefits and risk of taking medicines and should be taken under the supervision of a breast specialist



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