WACO, Texas (FOX 44) — Millions of women in the United States and around the world are diagnosed with breast cancer. But there are ways for you to keep an eye on your health, in and out of the doctor’s office.

“Anytime it just feels like something is not right, that’s an indication to go to your doctor, call your doctor,” Dr. Erin Prince said, a Radiologist with a specialty in breast imaging at Ascension Providence. “Say hey let’s get this checked out.”

Prince says that any abnormalities on a woman’s breast should not be taken lightly.

Breast cancer is one of the leading cancer types in women. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2022, over 287,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

But there are ways to keep an eye out, even when you’re not at the doctor’s office.

“I do tell my patients generally to perform self-exams if they’re able to,” Dr. Sripriya Santhanam of Baylor Scott and White said. “They can do it with their arms down in front of a mirror. Or they can do it with one arm up, behind their head and then using the other hand to palpate the breast.”

With the research that comes from breast cancer, there also comes misinformation.

Prince says the largest misconception her patients have is they cannot have breast cancer if it does not run in their family.

“People say, oh, I’m just a year or two late on my mammogram or something like that,” Prince said. “Nobody in my family has it and, you know, we try and constantly remind them that this is something that once you turn 40, it’s something we recommend every year.”

“You know, we have patients who are still screening religiously in their nineties right now,” Prince said. “And, you know, if we find something, then great, will treat it just the same.”

Santhanam agreed that’s what she hears most from patients. She also stated that it never hurts to ask questions and to talk to your physician about history or concerns.

“Is it time for me to get my annual mammogram,” Santhanam said. “Can I get an annual mammogram? So, you know, I recommend all women 40 and up to start, you know, looking into getting their mammograms. Of course, it’s recommended 45 and up. They should get it annually, but 40 to 45. I still recommend that they try to get one.”

For more information on breast cancer, click here.