Posted at: 10/10/2012 5:35 PM
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month making it a good time to remind women to know the signs and get regular screenings.
Early detection is crucial in the fight against breast cancer.
Despite controversy over the effectiveness of mammograms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early.
The X-rays can sometimes find a problem long before a woman notices a change in the look or feel of her breast.
The CDC recommends women aged 50 and older get a mammogram every two years
Those in their 40's should consult with their doctor about when and how often they should be screened.
Most health insurance companies cover the cost of mammograms. They're available at hospitals, clinics and even some doctors' offices.
There are also programs that offer free or low-cost mammograms.
While heart disease is the leading cause of death among women 40 and older, breast cancer ranks fifth and with early detection, many women live long and healthy lives.