October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers, especially among women over the age of 40. It is extremely important to detect breast cancer early on, and there are several easy things you can watch out for that could be signs of breast cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
One of the main goals of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to educate people about possible warning signs. Check out our list of signs and symptoms below, and encourage the other women in your life to know what to look for as well. Perform a simple, monthly self-exam to check for anything unusual.
The Breast Feels Different
- Do you notice a lump in the breast or underarm?
- Do you notice small bumps or another change in texture on the skin of the breast?
- Do you notice nipple tenderness?
The Breast Looks Different
- Has the breast changed unusually in shape or size?
- Is there swelling on one side?
- Is there shrinkage on one side?
- Have you noticed any discharge from the nipple?
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have cancer
Often, these symptoms do not turn out to be due to cancer. They can be linked to a number of causes. However, it is important to see your doctor as soon as you notice any concerns so that you can receive prompt diagnosis and treatment.
You should receive regular screenings even if you do not notice symptoms
Making an annual appointment for a breast cancer screening is an important way to make sure you are healthy and it is a good way to detect any issues that may not be exhibiting symptoms. Usually these screenings involve a simple physical exam. Your doctor may also recommend a mammogram or other tests.
Early detection of breast cancer is important
Performing self exams, scheduling regular screenings, and going to your doctor immediately with any concerns are all vital to ensuring that, if you do have breast cancer, it is diagnosed and treated early on. An early diagnosis can help to ensure that the cancer is treated quickly and that it doesn’t spread to other parts of the body.
Use this month to educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Share your knowledge with your loved ones, encouraging them to be proactive about their health as well.