As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last week we talked about Breast Cancer Awareness, including those risks that increase your chance of breast cancer. But do you know the signs of breast cancer?
Breast cancer, if caught early, has a very high success rate of being cured. Make sure to perform monthly breast self exams, in addition to a yearly exam by your doctor. A hot topic is deciding when you should begin having mammograms. It is dependent on your age and your family history of breast cancer. Most doctors still recommend that you begin at age 40, while others feels that if you have no family history then you can wait until age 50. Talk to your doctor to decide what’s right for you. In the meanwhile, you should know the signs of breast cancer, which include:
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
- A change in the size or shape of the breast
- Nipple discharge or tenderness
- An inverted nipple
- Ridges or pitting on the breast (resembling an orange peel)
- A change in the look or feel of the breast, areola or nipple (such as temperature, swelling, redness or a scaly feel)
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor for a diagnosis and possible treatment. If you are over 40, talk to your doctor about mammograms. Remember, early detection is the key to treatment and recovery.