October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - the following information is provided by the National Breast Cancer Foundation; their mission is to save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need. You can check out their website at www.nbcf.org for more information.
We are honored to be able to provide support and care to our clients undergoing Cancer treatment - the courage & grace we witness on a daily basis is truly remarkable - as always we welcome your questions and comments.
What Every Woman Needs to Know About Breast Cancer
Possible Early Signs of Breast Cancer
· A lump is detected, which is usually single, firm and painless.
· A portion of the skin on the breast or underarm swells and has an unusual appearance.
· Veins on the skin surface become more prominent on one breast.
· The breast nipple becomes inverted, develops a rash, changes texture, or has a discharge other than breast milk.
· A depression is found in an area of the breast surface.
· Women’s breasts can develop some degree of lumpiness, but only a small percentage of lumps are malignant.
· While a history of breast cancer in the family may lead to increased risk, most breast cancers are diagnosed in women with no family history. If you have a family history of breast cancer, this should be discussed with your doctor.
When breast cancer is found early, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.
This is good news! Over 2 million breast cancer survivors are alive in America today.
One woman in eight who live to age 85 will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
EARLY DETECTION PLAN
· Clinical breast examinations every 3 years from ages 20-39, then every year thereafter.
· Monthly breast self-examinations beginning at age 20. Look for any changes in your breasts.
· Baseline mammogram by the age of 40.
· Mammogram every 1 to 2 years for women 40-49, depending on previous findings.
· Mammogram every year for women 50 and over.
· A personal calendar to record your self-exams, mammograms, and doctor appointments.
· A low-fat diet, regular exercise, and no smoking or drinking.
70% of all breast cancers are found through breast self-exams. Self-exams should be performed monthly.
Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Not all lumps are detectable by touch. We recommend regular mammograms – low dose X-rays that can detect breast cancer up to 2 years before it can be felt.
CONDUCTING A BREAST SELF-EXAM
Place your right hand – palm flat – against the back of your head.
With the fingertips of your left hand, press lightly, then firmly, against your entire right breast to feel for lumps.
Switch hands and repeat the process, using your right hand to check your left breast.
Stand straight with hands on hips. Check in the mirror for any changes in breast texture, shape, size, nipple appearance or unusual discharge.
Lie down with a small pillow or folded towel under your left shoulder and left hand behind your head.
Using your right hand to check your left breast and under your armpit using your “Shower Test” pattern.
Move pillow under right shoulder, switch arm positions and repeat process, using left hand to check right breast.