October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer found in U.S. women, and understanding possible symptoms and warning signs could make all the difference.
Who’s at risk for breast cancer?
Women and men could be at risk for developing breast cancer. For women, regular mammograms and yearly physical exams are key to preventing advance stages of malignant tumors from damaging healthy tissues or growing uncontrollably (metastasizing) to other areas of the body.
What are some signs & symptoms associated with breast cancer?
Different cancers have different risk factors; and one particular risk factor does not guarantee if you will or will not develop the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, women should be aware of these symptoms when doing self-exams:
- Swelling of all or part of a breast—even if no distinct lump is felt
- Skin irritation or dimpling (resembling an orange peel)
- Pain in breast or nipple
- Nipple retraction (nipple turning inward)
- Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- Any nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
What are the types of breast cancer?
In general, breast cancer falls under two broad categories: invasive and noninvasive. Noninvasive breast cancer tends to stay within the milk ducts or lobules in the breast. Invasive breast cancer grows into healthy, normal tissues potentially spreading to other parts of the body.
What tests help detect breast cancer early?
There are several tests used by doctors in a breast cancer screening, which can include self-exams, physical exams, mammograms, breast ultrasounds, or breast MRIs.
Self-exams are a great way to become familiar with your breasts. Knowing how your normal breast tissue feels will help identify any potential abnormalities down the road. If you feel anything out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Are these provider specialists available at Culbertson Memorial Hospital?
Yes! Culbertson Memorial offers a full range of high-quality services to better serve the needs of our patients. Join us for our Pampered Pink event honoring breast cancer survivors and patients on October 23 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Old Homestead Barn. Enjoy manicures, shopping, wine-tasting, & more! Plus, stay informed with talks about women’s health & unique dietary nutritional needs!