October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing awareness on the importance of early detection.
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women. According to the National Cancer Institute, women in the U.S. have a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lives. Furthermore, Connecticut has the sixth highest rate of detecting new cases of breast cancer in the country, signifying the importance of early detection.
The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.
Many symptoms of breast cancer are not noticeable without a professional screening like a mammogram or ultrasound. However, other symptoms can be observed if you are proactive about your breast health.
It’s important to become familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel. This will help you to identify changes in your breasts that should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Here are some changes to look for:
Besides talking with your doctor or healthcare provider to learn more about what you can do for yourself, for a family member, or a friend, please be aware of the following breast cancer recommendations:
Fortunately, there are resources to prevent, diagnose, treat, and care for breast cancer, as well as to provide survivorship care for people who have had breast cancer.
If you notice any symptoms or changes in your breasts, tell your healthcare provider immediately so that problems can be diagnosed and treated promptly.
Dr. Michael Baum is a general surgeon and president of the Day Kimball Healthcare medical staff.