Regularly examining her own breasts allows a woman to become familiar with how her breasts normally look and feel and can help her more readily detect any changes that may occur.
The American Cancer Society and other organizations suggest that self exams can be performed regularly to help women detect changes in their breasts that they might need to call to their physician's attention.
Beyond your own personal exams, you should also have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40. Learn the five steps of a breast self exam here at BreastCancer.org
Just being a woman is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer. According to BreastCancer.org, there are about 190,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 60,000 cases of non-invasive breast cancer this year in American women.