Breast Health and Screening

Breast cancer screening guidelines

Breast cancer affects about 1 in 8 women in the United States over the course of her lifetime. About 15 percent of women who develop breast cancer have a family member who also was diagnosed with it, but 85 percent have no family history of the disease. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women, with only skin cancer being more common.


Fortunately, it also is one of the most treatable. The prognosis for breast cancer has been improving since 1989, due in part to advances in treatment, increased awareness and, especially, earlier detection through screening exams. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the likelihood of successful treatment.

Regular breast screenings can save your life

It is important to have regular screenings to detect and stop breast cancer in its tracks. Scripps recommends the following breast cancer screening exams:


  • Monthly breast self-exams beginning at age 20
  • Annual clinical breast exams with your physician or other health care practitioner
  • Baseline mammogram at age 40 followed by annual screening mammograms — the “gold standard” for breast cancer screening guidelines supported by the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiologists and the American College of Surgeons


Scripps provides a full range of mammography services at multiple locations throughout San Diego County. Learn more about Scripps breast imaging services and where you can access them.

Educational resources and genetic counseling

If you have questions about your breast health or concerns about your risk for breast cancer due to a personal or family history of the disease, our breast health educators are ready to answer your questions and provide you with information and resources.


Our patient care nurse navigators are experts in managing breast cancer issues and can help you and your family understand and navigate your care and treatment.


Our genetic counselors are health care professionals with specialized graduate training in medical genetics and counseling. If you or a family member has a higher than average risk of breast cancer due to personal or family history of cancer, ethnicity, a suspected genetic mutation or other factors, our genetic counselors can provide information, counseling and recommendations.