Although the US reserves October for breast cancer awareness month to recognize the impacts it has on hundreds of thousands of people, our team of dedicated physicians and specialists at Mid Florida Cancer Centers observe this awareness month every day.
We believe in staying proactive about clinical breast exams and self-breast exams to tackle this disease and keep it at bay. To help you or someone you love learn about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, here’s a comprehensive guide to review before scheduling your first appointment with us.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Identifying the symptoms goes a long way toward proper breast cancer treatment. Although these symptoms may differ slightly depending on various factors, some are universal including:
- Presence of breast lump(s)
- Thickening in the area of the breast
- Changes in breast size or shape
- Changes in nipple shape
- Skin dimpling
- Bloody discharge from the nipple area
- Rash on or close to a nipple
- Swelling or lumps in the armpit lymph node areas
Making sure to check for these possible symptoms on a monthly basis and keeping record of any sudden changes or increases in pain, can give doctors a better diagnosis when you come in for a breast exam.
Breast Cancer Causes
The list of breast cancer causes is extensive, and the exact causes are still unknown. But we do know some of the risk factors that can increase your chances of developing it:
- Age – Most women develop breast cancer after menopause.
- Family history – A first-degree relative with breast cancer doubles your risk of developing it.
- Breast cancer genes – Some people have abnormal genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, and PTEN) that can lead to the development breast cancer.
- Sex hormones and other hormones – Higher amounts of testosterone or estrogen doubles or triples your likelihood to develop breast cancer.
- Hormone replacement therapy – 3 out of 100 breast cancer cases in 2010 were linked to hormone replacement therapy.
- Contraceptive pills – They add a small increase into the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Smoking and alcohol abuse
It’s important to be aware of these risk factors and avoid bringing them into your daily life if possible. However, some factors, such as age and family history, cannot be avoided.
Breast Cancer Screening & Testing
About one in eight women born in the US will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Getting checked and learning how to self-check is key to prevention and early detection.
You can set up a clinical breast exam with Mid Florida Cancer Centers where we will screen for lumps and any physical change and show you how to self-check at home. If you have no signs or symptoms of the disease after a clinical exam, you can also schedule a mammogram with our center.
We’re proven to provide the upmost care and effective treatments possible for our patients. Learn more about breast cancer symptoms, causes, and how to regularly check by calling us at (866) 977-6322.