Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Each year October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a time to increase awareness of the disease, as well as encourage people to take charge of their breast health. About one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her life. In fact, it’s the most common cancer among women worldwide. Protect yourself or someone you love by knowing how to catch the disease early.
What to watch out for
Here are six signs of breast cancer to watch out for.
- Lumps: Check for lumps visually and by feeling your breasts while lying down. Using the flat pads of your three middle fingers, move your fingers in small circles around your breasts, changing your pressure to feel all levels of your breast tissue. Ask your doctor for more tips on conducting your own breast exam.
- Skin changes: Tell your doctor if you notice changes in the skin on your breasts (including your nipples). Keep an eye out for peeling, flaking, reddening, swelling, or any other changes to your skin’s texture.
- Changes in touch: Changes in how your breasts feel to the touch could be a sign of more invasive breast cancer. Notify your doctor if your breasts feel hard, tender, or warmer than usual.
- Vein changes: Look for any increase in size or number of veins in your breasts.
- Nipple discharge: Talk to your doctor if you notice any discharge from your nipples.
- Pain: You know your body best. Always say something if you feel pain. Breast pain is one of the early signs of cancer.
Do a self-exam for breast cancer at least once a month, checking for changes in shape, skin, nipples, and vein patterns. Ask your doctor for a regular examination and whenever you notice any changes in your breasts. Early detection can help you get on the path to healing.
If you have questions, speak with your healthcare professional.