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Healthy Balance

Breast Cancer Screening Guide

Nicole Kelleher started breast cancer screening in her early 30s. It caught breast cancer when she was 36.
Nicole Kelleher started breast cancer screening in her early 30s. It caught breast cancer when she was 36.

This statistic always gives me pause: About 1 in 8 of my female friends will develop breast cancer. But here’s the good news: Mammograms are now so good at picking up even the tiniest sign of cancer. This means anyone with breast tissue has an amazing chance of surviving breast cancer.

This breast cancer screening guide can get you started on the road to prevention.

Local Area Events

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s the perfect time to treat yourself, get educated, and find support.

In Culpeper: Grab your friends for a night out at the 19th annual Pamper Me Pink event, co-sponsored by UVA Health Culpeper Medical Center, Oct. 24.

In Manassas: Need a mammogram? Then head to UVA Health Prince William Medical Center for our annual Ladies’ Night Out on Oct. 12. Nibble appetizers and sip mocktails while checking out local vendors and prizes. Get details on what you need for a mammogram by calling 571.261.3600 or reaching out by email.

Breast Cancer Screening Guide

Most of us should start getting regular mammograms at age 40. But some need them even earlier, like Nicole Kelleher. She started having them in her 30s. Why? She had a family history of breast cancer. Screenings discovered breast cancer when she was only 36.

There’s not one breast cancer screening guide for everyone. When and how you get screened will depend on your situation. The only rule we should all follow: Get screened.

Get the Best Screening for You

Mammograms take an X-ray image of the breast. We now have 3D and even contrast-enhanced mammograms. These are even better at picking up breast cancer if you have dense breast tissue.

And if you’re at high risk, other imaging tools, like MRI or ultrasound, might be a better breast cancer screening for you. It’s important to discuss the best option with your provider.

Most women need a yearly screening. But Nicole needed one every 6 months. Her story has a happy ending because she was followed by our high-risk breast cancer team.

Do You Need Genetic Testing?

Breast cancer screening technology has come a long way. But so too has genetic testing. With a simple blood test, you can find out if you have any of the genetic mutations that might put you at high risk for breast cancer.

Ask yourself 6 key questions to see if you should see a genetic counselor.

Before, During, & After Breast Cancer

Whether facing breast cancer or just worried about it, you’ll find expert care at UVA Health.

Find guidance and inspiration from the researchers, providers, and patients at UVA Health.

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