Protecting Yourself From Breast Cancer

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In Your 40s

What to Look Out For:

With age comes risk: As you get older, your chances of developing breast cancer increase. About 18 percent of breast cancer diagnoses are among women in their 40s.

What to Do:

Get a mammogram: Mammography is the best available method for detecting breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage -- an average of 1 to 3 years before a woman can feel a lump. Women 40 or older should have an annual mammogram. "Those three minutes can save your life," says Woolfe.

CBE: In your 40s, "You should have this exam annually, or more frequently if you have increased risk factors," says Esther Rhei, MD, a surgical oncologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston.

Fill up on fruits and veggies: Women whose diets are rich in fruits and vegetables -- especially dark green and orange ones -- have a lower risk of getting breast cancer. Women of all ages should follow this rule.

Continued on page 4:  In Your 50s


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