LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Although Breast Cancer Awareness Month is over, doctors encourage women, especially, to be aware of their breast health year-round. Dr. Joe Hernandez of the Acadiana Women’s Health Group says this awareness is the key to beating breast cancer.

“In addition to your regular screening with your health provider, mammography is critical for early detection. All of the data points to mammography saving lives,” he says.

Dr. Erin Hemsell recommends exams annually beginning at age 40. Some high-risk patients can start as early as age 35.

In addition to mammography, another effective technique is an MRI. This technique is used based on density of breast tissue. Alongside MRIs, Dr. Fernandez encourages monthly self breast examinations.

During these exams, women should be aware of lumps, of course. Other things to be aware of include discharge or blood, especially if these symptoms present month-to-month.