Your Health Matters

We Support Healthy Women, Healthy Lives

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that breast cancer screenings, such as breast exams and mammograms, can help detect breast cancer at its earliest, most treatable stage? Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women, so itís important to protect our health through preventive care.

At Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS), we understand that some women may put off breast cancer screenings, and others might not know whether they should be screened. Ask us today about scheduling your clinical breast exam, or about mammogram referral. A trusted provider of high-quality, affordable health care for more than 80 years, PPMNS will raise awareness in communities across our region about preventing breast cancer. At Planned Parenthood, women's health matters. 

Clinical Breast Exams

Clinical breast exams are essential. The American Cancer Society recommends regular clinical breast exams every three years for women in their 20s and 30s. Yearly clinical breast exams are recommended for women after the age of 40.

Routine visits with a health care provider can help prevent illness and can find problems that may need treatment. Pelvic exams, Pap tests, and screenings for breast cancer are all vital health care needs for women.

Health care providers at your local Planned Parenthood clinic can give you a clinical breast exam as part of your visit.

Self Breast Exam

Breast self-exams are another tool you can use to detect cancer. They can help you know if you have a lump or other change in your breast that you should get checked out. You may want to start doing breast self-exams in your 20s so you can get to know what is normal for your breasts.


In some cases, mammograms are helpful for women younger than 40. A mammogram may be recommended for a younger woman with a family history of early breast cancer  or non-cancerous breast lumps ó to make sure cancer is not hidden among harmless cysts.

Talk to your health care provider if you have any concerns about changes in the look, shape, or texture of your breasts, or nipple discharge or if you have breast cancer or other types of cancer in your family history. You and your health care provider can decide together whether getting a mammogram is right for you.

PPMNS is an expert in the field of womenís health care, responding to the needs of our region with clinical services, education and advocacy. We make women and families healthier. Learn more about breast health or find a clinic near you and make an appointment today.

Book Reviews and Resources

Want to learn more?  Find selected book reviews of literature written by breast cancer survivors or in memory of loved ones, or check out our video on the importance of breast health.

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