According to BreastCancer.org, “1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.” This statistic might be chilling, but it is one that is important for understanding the facts: Breast cancer detection increases your chances of survival. Checking your breasts regularly is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so there is no better time to get your breasts checked and establish a breast cancer prevention routine.
Check Your Breasts!
Check your breasts as part of your normal routine. Find a day or time to check regularly, like every month on the day of your birthday (i.e., if your birthday is October 7, check your breasts on the 7th of each month). It can even be as simple as checking every time you take a shower, or every Thursday night – just find a routine that works for you.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Watch for changes to the look and feel of your breasts, including the following symptoms:
- Monitor the shape and size of your breasts to ensure one isn’t growing larger or smaller than the other.
- Look for changes to the color of your breasts to ensure one isn’t becoming red or swollen.
- Watch for discharge from your nipples.
- Feel for lumps in your breasts, armpits, and upper chest.
- Look for rashes on your breasts.
- Watch for changes to your skin or nipples, like dimples appearing on your breasts or your nipples inverting, etc.
If you discover any of the above symptoms or experience breast pain, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately to discuss the changes, as well as any options for breast cancer detection.
Clinical Breast Exam
A clinical breast exam is given by a healthcare professional to check for lumps or changes to your breasts. They will check your armpits, breasts, and upper chest areas, and examine your breasts and nipples for abnormalities. Clinical breast exams are a helpful step in early breast cancer detection.
Mammograms often reveal lumps before they are even felt. They scan your breasts for abnormalities and can detect signs of breast cancer in its early stages. Women over 40 should have a mammogram every one to two years. If your mammogram reveals a lump, your doctor will run an additional test or biopsy to check for cancer.
If you detect a lump or breast abnormality, come in and visit us at Trusted ER Dallas Hillcrest to discuss your options and be referred out to an oncologist if needed. Early detection is key to surviving breast cancer.