See Pink in October!
October marks a worldwide campaign dedicated to the awareness of breast cancer. Multiple organizations highlight the importance of education and research for breast cancer, as well as what to look for in an effort to increase early detection and develop better treatments. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of beating it.
It is important to note that there are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. Research and new treatment protocols continue to help the medical community make strides in treating this disease. During Breast Cancer Awareness month, Voyage Healthcare wants you to know that a mammogram is the most important tool in the early detection of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. In 2021 it is anticipated that
there will be over 330,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed and 43,600 deaths from breast
The most effective diagnosis for breast cancer is a mammogram. As the risk of getting breast cancer increases with age, it is recommended that women start scheduling mammograms at age 40 and continue with mammograms every 1-2 years thereafter. A new mammogram modality, referred to as either 3D or tomosynthesis, may be recommended by your provider if you have very dense breasts or a strong family history of breast cancer.
Warning Signs of Breast Cancer
Warning signs of breast cancer can present very differently between patients. The three main signs you should watch for include:
- A change of the look or feel of the breast (or)
- A change in the look or feel of the nipple (or)
- Nipple discharge.
Be cognizant of the following:
(as presented by the Susan G. Komen website)
- A lump or hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
- Swelling, warmth, redness, or darkening of the breast
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore, or rash on the nipple
- Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- New pain in one spot that does not go away
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, please be in touch with your healthcare provider immediately. It's highly likely that it will not be cancer, but it is best to get everything checked out early in case of a cancer diagnosis, treatment is best started early when the chances of survival are highest.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
Studies continue to determine causes and ways we may be able to prevent breast cancer. Healthy lifestyle choices are simply always a good strategy for maintaining optimum wellness.
- Maintain a healthy weight range
- Regularly exercise
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Reduce tobacco consumption
Research is also being done in the following areas:
- Best use of genetic testing for breast cancer mutations
- The impact of multiple gene variants
- Environmental factors and their potential contribution to breast cancer
Ask your doctors about your risks for breast cancer and what you need to do to maintain a lower risk.
Get Screened At Voyage Healthcare
Voyage Healthcare's Center for Women’s Health in Plymouth offers digital mammography. You don’t need an appointment for a mammogram. You can walk into our office and get a mammogram at your convenience, thereby checking it off your to-do list for the year.
Visit our Center for Women’s Health today and get to know all about breast cancer awareness, education, and how you can help with research.