October 10, 2018
Taking place annually throughout the month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month raises awareness about this devastating disease. Breast cancer . . . is a scary thought and all too many women assume that it won’t happen to them. Remember, breast cancer doesn’t discriminate.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes in the United States. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women after skin cancer. Currently there is an estimated 266,120 new cases of breast cancer being diagnosed in women. This means that someone in your life has had, or will have, their life affected by cancer.
Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is malignant if the cells can grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body. Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too. Breast cancer can begin in different parts of the breast, however, most breast cancers are found in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is a critical part to your breast health. The most common sign or symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass that feels different from the surrounding tissue. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. They can even be painful. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast mass, lump, or breast change checked by an experienced health care professional in diagnosing breast diseases. Finding breast cancer as early as possible gives you a better chance for successful treatment and having regular mammograms and other screening tests is the key.
Innovations in research, surgical options and clinical trials can enhance survival and quality of life for those battling this disease. With early detection, a woman’s survival rate goes up. That’s why breast self-exams are an important way for women to give their “girls” a fighting chance, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To schedule your breast cancer screening, please call (989) 729-6422.