Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can women with flat chests get breast cancer?"
I have a pretty flat chest, an A cup. Can I still get breast cancer? I have never had a breast exam.
Unfortunately, women with smaller breasts can still get breast cancer. In fact, even men can get breast cancer on rare occasions. Currently the screening guidelines by the US preventative services taskforce do not take breast size into account with their recommendations. Thus you should be screened for breast cancer in the same way that someone with small breasts would. The screening you should have for breast cancer depends on your age. If you are under the age of 40 and you do not have a family history of breast cancer, then you should have yearly breast exams by your physician. You do not need to perform self-breast exams, as these have not been shown to prevent breast cancer death. The current guidelines say that you should start having mammograms at age 50. Only your doctor can dictate exactly what preventive measures you should take. Since you have not had a breast exam, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can document if you have any family history of breast cancer and determine your risk. Your doctor can then perform a breast exam. Depending on your age and family history, your doctor may recommend that you start getting mammograms.
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