One in eight women and one in 833 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. While these numbers may not seem too worrisome, breast cancer was classified as the most common cancer worldwide in 2021. October is used every year as a time to raise awareness on breast cancer and uplift those affected by it.
There are a few things to look out for that can indicate breast cancer. A lump in the breast is usually the first thing a woman notices, that's why it's important to check your breasts monthly at home. Other things like a change in the size, shape or appearance of your breast, dimpling of the breast, a newly inverted nipple, scaling and peeling of the breast or areola, or redness and pitting on your breast can be signs of breast cancer. If you notice any of these things on your breast, you should see a doctor immediately.
Certain people are at a higher risk than others to develop breast cancer. Factors include women, inreasing age, family history of breast cancer, obesity, among many others. It's highly recommended that you be screened yearly starting at the age of 45. If you prefer, you can start as early as 40. Women who are 55 and older can switch to mammograms every two years, or choose to still have one yearly. If you're at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, you can speak with your doctor about starting mammograms earlier than suggested. Until then, doctors recommend checking your breasts once a month for any changes or lumps, which can be done on your own at home.
Our women's health providers are experienced in checking for signs of breast cancer, and can even show you how to do examinations at home. A great way to remember to do your monthly breast check, is to do it on the first day of each month.