What is breast self-awareness? Knowing how your breasts feel and look at baseline. Physician's are encouraging breast-self awareness in addition to self-exams. What does that mean? Routinely assessing how your breasts look and feel and noting any changes.
What do I do if I notice any changes in my breasts? One option is to wait 1-2 weeks and if change is still present, see your physician immediately. A second option is to see you physician right away and plan for a repeat exam in 1-2 weeks.
Who do I see for help? Make an appointment with your Primary care physician or OBGYN. If you do not have a PCP or OBGYN, we encourage you to establish care now.
When should I start practicing breast self-awareness? As soon as you have breasts. But, most importantly starting at age 21. Build the habit of routinely assessing your breasts once a month.
When should I get imaging of my breasts? If you don't have family history, you should expect to begin annual imaging at age 40 (unless you find changes in your breasts, then seek attention immediatley). If you have family history or a lifetime Breast Cancer risk greater than 20%, then you should start imaging earlier (at 30 years old or 10 years before your youngest relative was diagnosed). For example, if your mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 32 years old, you should start getting annuals starting at age 22.)
How do I determine my lifetime Breast Cancer risk if I am under 40? Lifetime BC risk can be calculated when you get imaging or genetic testing. There are several different calculators but the more accurate ones take breast density into account and this can only be done by a breast radiologist. (However, medical professionals are trying to make this more common place.) Most BC risk calculations are determined by a formula that the radiologists use when you get your imaging.
How can you find out more about your Breast Cancer risk? Discussing this with your primary care provider or OBGYN who will give you next steps on how to determine your risks.
What about Genetic Testing? Many women qualify for genetic testing by having 2 relatives with Breast Cancer or other cancers (regardless of their age). Ask your PCP or OBGYN about your qualifications for genetic testing. If you do not qualify for genetic testing, you can still get testing with a self-pay method that costs around $350 through Natera Lab in California. It's important to ask your provider about your options.
Who qualifies for genetic testing under their insurance? To qualify you must have 1 first degree relative with Breast Cancer under age 40, or 2 first degree relatives with Breast Cancer. Or, if you have any relative with ovarian cancer.
Is there such a thing as being too young to get screening for Breast Cancer? No, no, no! If you have a concern with your breasts, please seek medical attention. It's important to find a provider who will listen and act on your concerns. If you get dismissed by a medical provider, find another one who will take your concerns seriously.
What if my provider doesn't take my breast concerns seriously as a woman under 40? Find another provider in your network. Your voice deserves to be heard. And your health deserves attention. Women under 40 are amongst the highest mortality rates once diagnosed. Fight for your rights.
I have a question that hasn't been answered in the FAQ's. Can I ask you a question? YES! Please feel invited to send us your question or concern. We will do our best to reply to you asap. Please note, that though we do have a medical ambassador helping us to answer questions as thoroughly as possible, we are not a medical establishment and encourage you to see your doctor. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your question or concern.
"We need to change the culture around breast cancer and that's what I see Tits Deep doing. We need to make it easier for women to get seen." - Dr. Laura Howell