If you're like many of us, a visit with a health care professional leaves you feeling rushed or anxious — or both. So much so, that all the questions you thought of before going in fly right out of your head. But, a breast exam by your health care professional is also a great opportunity to get your questions answered about breast health. The next time you are due for your breast exam — every three years if you're age 20 to 39, and every year if you're 40 or older — bring these important questions with you:

  1. What factors would put me at higher risk for developing breast cancer, and is there anything I can do to lower my risk?

  2. Does it increase my odds of developing breast cancer if my mother had it? Should I consider getting genetic testing or any other testing?

  3. What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

  4. How is breast cancer diagnosed?

  5. Should I do monthly breast self-exams? If so, can you show me how?

  6. What is a clinical breast exam? How often should I get one and who should do it?

  7. What is a screening mammogram? When should I get my first one?

  8. How can I find a low-cost or free mammogram?

  9. Am I more likely to get breast cancer if I take birth control pills or hormone therapy? How about if I have large or dense breasts

  10. I have a lump, but the mammogram says everything is normal. Should I request more tests?