How can I help lower my risk for developing breast cancer? Page Content"Early detection with a mammogram or clinical breast exam is usually your best, first-line of defense for reducing your risk," says Rosemary Schempp, M.D., a board-certified specialist in Internal Medicine at Kelsey-Seybold ClinicDr. Schempp says that starting in their 20s, women should self-examine their breasts every month for lumps, dimpling, changes in skin texture, unusual tenderness or discharge."Women age 45-54 and older who are at average risk should have a mammogram every year," she says. "Women 55 and older should transition to screening every two years unless otherwise directed by their physician.""However, if you are in a higher-risk category, ask your doctor about the benefits of more frequent screenings. And if you have a strong family history of breast cancer, ask about a potential consultation regarding the feasibility of the BRCA analysis - available through Kelsey-Seybold's Oncology or Surgery departments."If an abnormal area is discovered on your mammogram, you may need to have more imaging studies or a biopsy to look for evidence of breast cancer."The goal of these screenings is to find breast cancers in the early stages when treatment offers patients the best outcomes. That's why they're so important," concludes Dr. Schempp, who cares for patients at Kelsey-Seybold's Summer Creek Clinic.To schedule a mammogram at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, call 713-442-1161 on weekdays. For more information, visit our Breast Diagnostic Center.