In Most cases, breast cancer is detected only when the tumour is large and has spread to the lymph nodes. Women with cervical cancers also consult their doctors only when the tumour is large and has invaded surrounding tissues. The best way to prevent cancer from being fatal is early detection.

The earlier the disease is detected, the more likely it is that treatment will be effective. If the disease is detected in its earliest stages, it has a cure rate of more than 80 percent. However, as the tumour grows larger in size and/or spreads to the lymph nodes, these percentages drop dramatically to the 50 percent range. Fewer than 20% of patients who have developed distant metastasis survive for 2-3 years.
Women, of any age, who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer, should consult their doctor when to start and how often they should go in for a breast examination. Breast cancer screening has been shown to decrease the risk of dying form the disease.

Women can also take an active part in the early detection of breast cancer by having regularly scheduled screening mammograms and/or clinical breast exams (breast exams performed by health professionals) or self breast examination on a regular basis.
Breast Self Examination (BSE)
At Regular intervals, Ideal time is just after Menstrual Cycle.
Look at your breast in the mirror. Look for any changes in size or shape, retraction of nipple, dimple for thickening of skin or any obvious lump. Keep your arms around your waist and press them firmly. These positions may help in showing any retraction or dimpling present over the skin of he breast.

Feel the whole breast in a systematic manner. The breast is divided into 5 parts. The upper inner area, upper outer area, lower inner area, lower outer area and the central area, the nipple. Feel all the parts of the breast without missing any area.

Raising both arms, look for any asymmetry in your breasts.
Lie down with one of your arms stretched. Keeping your fingers close to each other, use the flat surface of the fingers to feel for any lumps, Do not feel the breast between the fingers tips and the thumb. Press firmly enough to know how your breast feels. A firm ridge at the lower curve of each breast is normal.    


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