October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a great time to remind yourself, friends and family about the importance of early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
More women are surviving breast cancer than ever before. Why? Because more women are taking care of themselves and taking advantage of improvements in screening techniques. Early detection of breast cancer leads to more treatment options, less extensive surgery and better outcomes.
Screenings find cancer early
Screening tests and exams can detect cancer before it causes symptoms. The mammogram is the main test recommended by the American Cancer Society to find breast cancer. Treatment is most effective when cancers are small and limited to the breast.
Recognizing symptoms is an important part of knowing when to consult with your doctor. Breast cancer can appear as lumps or masses of different types. They can be hard or soft, tender or painful. Skin changes and nipple discharge can also be caused by cancer. Any breast or lymph node change should be checked by your healthcare provider.
Talking with your doctor
If you are reluctant to talk about cancer, you’re not alone. However, it is essential that you be proactive and seek out the care of your medical team to protect yourself from breast cancer. We are here to listen, to inform and to make you more comfortable dealing with breast cancer screening, testing and treatments. Remind your loved ones about the need to be screened for breast cancer.
For additional information, schedule an appointment with your family physician to talk about breast cancer risks and screening guidelines.