One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society. Despite the raised awareness of breast cancer in today’s society, revolutionary care for breast cancer, and readily available routine breast care, still too few women know how to assess their own breast health. Learning about risk factors, warning signs for breast cancer and personal breast care can keep you healthy.
Signs of Breast Health Problems
Breast tissue is dense and fatty, making it relatively challenging to identify problems with breast health especially in screening mammograms. Additionally, breast cancer and other breast-related diseases can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as the following:
- Lumps in the breast tissue or in the armpit or chest area
- Finding a breast lump after you have gone through menopause
- Discharge, which may look bloody, greenish, watery, milky, or otherwise abnormal
- Change in the appearance of your nipple, such as scaly or crusty skin
- Change in your nipple such that it turns in rather than points outward
- Change in breast shape
- Breast skin that looks dimpled, similar to an orange peel
- Change in the color or texture of your breast skin or area around the nipple
- Pain in one breast that lasts more than 1 to 2 weeks (unrelated to an injury)
- Signs of breast infection, such as warmth, redness, pain, or swelling
Breast Care and How to Maintain Your Health
The best way to keep track of your breast health is to perform routine breast self-exams. Breast care specialists recommend that women perform a self-exam every month. Begin by placing one arm above your head. Use the pads of your fingers to press on your breast tissue in a circular pattern, looking for lumps, knots, or thickened tissues. Here is visual example of how to do it:
At Bedford Breast Center, we are dedicated to helping all women improve the quality of their health and medical care. If you notice any changes in your breasts that were discussed above, it is probably time for you to come in and pay one of our breast cancer specialists a visit.