Early Detection Helps Prevent Deaths from Breast Cancer

Early Detection Helps Prevent Deaths from Breast Cancer

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Finding breast cancer early is the best way to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Getting regular screening tests is the best way to find breast cancer early.

About 1 in 8 American women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives. Each year about 240,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. Breast cancer death rates for women are higher than any cancer besides lung cancer.

Get Screened

More than 40,000 women in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer. Getting a regular mammogram substantially lowers your risk of dying leaving site icon from breast cancer. 

Don’t take any chances. Talk to your health care provider about breast cancer, your risk factors and your family medical history. 

Recommendations for women at average breast cancer risk:

  • If you are between the ages of 50 and 74, get a mammogram at least every two years.
  • If you are 40 to 49, talk with your health care provider about the risks and benefits of mammography and when you should get screened.

Screening mammograms are covered at no cost* when performed by a provider in your health plan’s network. Coverage may vary for preventive care services with no member cost share, depending on your specific benefit plan and whether you use network providers. If you have questions, call the customer service number on your member ID card.

Your health care provider may do additional tests if you have family members with a history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer. These additional tests can show if this family history will put you at higher risk for breast cancer.  You may have out-of-pocket costs for these additional tests.

Talk to your doctor about what screening plan is best for you.

Visit our breast cancer section for more information about breast cancer prevention and treatment, living with breast cancer, and helpful tips.

*Preventive services at no cost applies only to members enrolled in non-grandfathered health plans. You may have to pay all or part of the cost of preventive care if your health plan is grandfathered. To find out if your plan is grandfathered or non-grandfathered, call the customer service number on your member ID card.
Sources: Breast Cancer - Patient Version, leaving site icon National Cancer Institute; Breast Cancer Early Detection and Diagnosis, leaving site icon American Cancer Society; Key Statistics for Breast Cancer, leaving site icon American Cancer Society, 2024; Study Finds Missing Regular Mammogram Increases Risk of Death from Breast Cancer, leaving site icon American Cancer Society, 2021; Breast Cancer: Screening, leaving site icon U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, 2016; Basic Information About Breast Cancer, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023; Cancer Stat Facts: Female Breast Cancer, leaving site icon National Cancer Institute, 2023

Originally published 9/24/2020; Revised 2022, 2023, 2024