The most efficient way to protect yourself against the cancer that affects at least one in eight U.S. women (about 12 percent) over the course of her lifetime is to self examine.
About 40,290 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2015 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
In terms of ethnicity, white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women. However, in women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. The risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower in Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women.
You should be self-examining your breast area at least every couple months. Once you understand what areas to focus on, the process can take all of five minutes.