Since cancer, I have been checked annually with a mammogram and do self exams as well. I just recently passed the five year cancer free mark which is when the doctors all take a big sigh of relief. Statistically speaking, after five years one is almost back to normal.
Someone earlier mentioned thermography which is an interesting technology with a lot of promise for the future but, as it stands now, it is highly inaccurate compared to a mammogram leading to some false positives and panic but worse, leading to false negatives and false security while a cancer grows.
I had no symptoms, nothing visible or palpable and absolutely zero family history but the minute I got diagnosed my sister (3 years older than me) who had been putting off getting a mammogram certainly got it in gear and got to the doctor. She's fine thankfully.