The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.

Breast Self-Awareness Messages

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., but it can be successfully treated. Screening tests can find breast cancer at an early stage, when the chances of survival are highest. Regular screening tests (along with follow-up tests, if diagnosed) reduce the chance of dying from breast cancer.

1. Know your risk

  • Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history.
  • Talk to a doctor about your risk of breast cancer.

2. Get screened

  • Talk with a doctor about which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk.
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk.*
  • Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at age 25, and every year starting at age 40.*

* Per NCCN Guidelines

3. Know what is normal for you

 See a doctor if you notice any of these breast changes:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

To see illustrations of these warnings signs, please visit the breast cancer Warning Signs & Symptoms page.

 4. Make healthy lifestyle choices

Breast Self-Awareness Message Resources

We offer a variety of downloadable Breast Self-Awareness Message resources in different languages. You can find them in English on our Educational Resources page. They’re also available in Spanish and many other languages on our Translated Educational Resources page.

You can also watch and share our Breast Self-Awareness Message video titled, Your Guide to Breast Self-Awareness. This video is available in seven different languages.

Additional Komen resources may be found in the Tools & Resources section of our website.

 Updated May 9, 2024