Written by Kelly Murray
October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may have noticed that during month of October, and throughout the year you tend to see a lot of pink ribbons. The pink ribbon is to honor survivors, remember those who lost to the disease, and to support the battle of breast cancer. The purpose of this campaign is to help people spread awareness of the disease, and educate people on prevention, screening & early detection, and treatment plans.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer are very important for screening and early detection of the disease. The most common symptom is a new lump or mass. Other possible symptoms include swelling of all or part of a breast, skin irritation, dimpling, breast or nipple pain, nipple retraction, redness or thickening of the nipple of breast tissue, and nipple discharge. These symptoms can be caused by things other than breast cancer, so if you experience any of these symptoms it is important to speak with your doctor.
Screenings and early detection are used to look for breast cancer. Screenings are the tests and exams that are used to find the disease in people that do not have symptoms. Early detection is the process of finding and diagnosing the disease earlier than what might happen if you waited for symptoms to start. A few different types of breast cancer screenings include self breast exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms. Speak with your health care provider to set up a screening/early detection plan that will work best for you.
For more information on the guidelines for your age and risk level, you can also visit the American Cancer Society at
National Breast Cancer Foundation
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