One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. That’s one person every 12 minutes in the United States. No matter who you are or where you live, breast cancer has probably touched your life. However, the good news is there are more breast cancer survivors than ever before. Through research, new therapies, and targeted treatments, outcomes have improved outcomes for many people and replaced the one-size-fits-all treatments of three decades ago.
Make this, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time of action, both for yourself and others. One of the most important steps you can take is to make sure you are up to date on your annual mammogram. My aunt, mother, and first cousin all had breast cancer, but they caught it in its early most treatable stages. That is why I am extra diligent about scheduling my annual mammography. I do it every year around Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I don't forget. Another way to remember your screenings is to schedule them around your birthday each year.
Regular mammograms should begin at age 40 for most women. Talk with your doctor about your individual needs. If you are due for this screening, I hope you will take the time to make that appointment, and don’t forget to wear your pink.
Early signs of breast cancer...
A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
Change in the size, shape, or appearance of a breast
Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
A newly inverted nipple
Peeling, scaling, crusting, or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange
If you notice any of these signs, see a doctor right away.