Every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. I am sure every single one of you knows someone with the disease. And don't believe that it only effects older women.
From breast cancer.org:
“While it's true that the risk of breast cancer increases as we grow older, breast cancer can occur at any age. From birth to age 39, one woman in 231 will get breast cancer (<0.5% risk); from age 40–59, the risk is one in 25 (4% risk); from age 60–79, the risk is one in 15 (nearly 7%). Assuming you live to age 90, the risk of getting breast cancer over the course of an entire lifetime is one in 7, with an overall lifetime risk of 14.3%." Also, while self examination is important, a mammogram, especially after age – is a must. From the same website: “Digital mammography or high quality film-screen mammography is the most reliable way to find breast cancer as early as possible, when it is most curable. By the time a breast cancer can be felt, it is usually bigger than the average size of a cancer first found on mammography. Breast examination by you or your healthcare provider is still very important. About 25% of breast cancers are found only on breast examination (not on the mammogram), about 35% are found on mammography alone, and 40% are found by both physical exam and mammography. Keep both bases covered.”