Breast cancer is a group of diseases that affects breast tissue. Both women and men can get breast cancer, though it is much more common in women. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. Some women are at higher risk for breast cancer than others because of their personal or family medical history or because of certain changes in their genes.
Getting mammograms regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that average-risk women who are 50 to 74 years old should have a screening mammogram every two years. Average-risk women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.
Mammograms are covered by most health insurance programs. You can get a screening mammogram without any out-of-pocket costs. If you are worried about the cost or don’t have health insurance, CDC offers free or low-cost mammograms and education about breast cancer. Find out if you qualify.
Next: Basic Information
CDC’s Latest Research
- A Study of Women’s Perceived and Actual Risk of Getting Cancer (article summary)
- Breast cancer screening among women with Medicaid
- The influence of spiritual framing on African American women’s mammography intentions
- Breast and cervical cancer screening among Asian subgroups in the USA
- Stated preference for cancer screening: a systematic review of the literature
- What predicts an advanced-stage diagnosis of breast cancer?
Our “Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know” fact sheet [PDF-527KB] lists risk factors, symptoms, and screening recommendations.
“My diagnosis has given me a greater appreciation for life,” says breast cancer survivor Traci Ramirez in this blog post.