Why Should I Do Breast Self
Monthly breast self-exams can help you detect changes that may be signs of infection or breast cancer . When breast cancer is detected early, the chances for survival are much better.
Self-exams are important for breast health. But they should not replace exams and screening tests recommended by doctors. You should still see your primary care provider and/or gynecologist regularly.
Tests Are Used To Screen For Different Types Of Cancer When A Person Does Not Have Symptoms
Scientists study screening tests to find those with the fewest harms and most benefits. Cancer screening trials also are meant to show whether early detection helps a person live longer or decreases a persons chance of dying from the disease. For some types of cancer, the chance of recovery is better if the disease is found and treated at an early stage.
Why Are Breast Exams Important
Breast exams improve the chances of finding breast cancer early. And the earlier breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.
Your doctor or nurse can tell whether your breasts look and feel healthy. During a breast exam, your doctor will feel for lumps and other problems, and can recommend more tests if theres anything unusual.
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When Should I See A Doctor
It is important to remember that most breast changes are not caused by cancer, and the signs and symptoms can be caused by other medical conditions. However, if you have noticed any symptoms or changes in your breasts, it is important that you see your doctor without delay so that the changes can be checked. This may include a physical examination or imaging of your breasts. Early detection gives the best possible chance of survival if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.
It is important to remember that breast awareness does not replace having regular mammograms and other screening tests as recommended by your doctor. Some people diagnosed with breast cancer have signs or symptoms. However, some women have no signs/symptoms and the breast cancer is found during a screening mammogram.
In order to detect breast cancer early, it is recommended that all women between 50-74 years attend regular screening mammograms every two years. These are offered for free by BreastScreen Australia. Women aged 40-49 and 75 years and older are also eligible for free mammograms if they choose to attend. In deciding whether to attend a screening mammogram, women in these age groups can speak with their doctor and should also consider the potential benefits and downsides of screening mammograms for them.
Screening Tests Can Have Harms
Not all breast cancers will cause death or illness in a woman’s lifetime, so they may not need to be found or treated.
Decisions about screening tests can be difficult. Not all screening tests are helpful and most have harms. Before having any screening test, you may want to discuss the test with your doctor. It is important to know the harms of the test and whether it has been proven to reduce the risk of dying fromcancer.
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Benefits And Risks Of Screenings
When and how often to have a breast screening test is a choice you must make. Different expert groups do not fully agree on the best timing for screening.
Before having a mammogram, talk to your provider about the pros and cons. Ask about:
- Your risk for breast cancer.
- Whether screening decreases your chance of dying from breast cancer.
- Whether there is any harm from breast cancer screening, such as side effects from testing or overtreatment of cancer when it’s discovered.
Risks of screenings can include:
- False-positive results. This occurs when a test shows cancer when there is none. This can lead to having more tests that also have risks. It can also cause anxiety. You may be more likely to have a false-positive result if you are younger, have a family history of breast cancer, have had breast biopsies in the past, or take hormones.
- False-negative results. These are tests that come back normal even though there is cancer. Women who have false-negative results do not know they have breast cancer and delay treatment.
- Exposure to radiation is a risk factor for breast cancer. Mammograms expose your breasts to radiation.
- Overtreatment. Mammograms and MRIs may find slow-growing cancers. These are cancers that may not shorten your life. At this time, it is not possible to know which cancers will grow and spread, so when cancer is found it is usually treated. Treatment can cause serious side effects.
What If I Find A Lump In My Breast
If you find a lump or another change in your breast, talk to your doctor or nurse as soon as you can. It doesnt necessarily mean you have cancer there are lots of other things, like cysts or infections, that can cause lumps or other changes. But its really important to get checked out just in case. Your doctor can do a breast exam or a mammogram to see if theres something wrong.
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How Do I Do A Breast Self
If you choose to do one, follow these steps:
In the mirror:
In the shower:
Can I Get Treatment For Breast Cancer If I Don’t Have Insurance
Women in need of treatment for breast cancer may be eligible for coverage through the New York State Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program . Coverage lasts for the entire time you are being treated and includes medications.
To learn if you are eligible for this program or to get more information, visit the NYS MCTP website.
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There Are Three Screening Methods
There are three types of tests that may be used to screen for breast cancer.
Clinical Breast Exam A CBE is a physical exam of your breast and underarm area by a health care provider. Its often done during your regular medical check-up. A CBE should be performed by someone whos trained in the techniquenot all health care providers have this training. If your doctor doesnt offer you a CBE at your check-up and you would like one, ask if he or she can perform one or refer you to someone who can.
MammogramMammography uses X-rays to make images of the breast . While some tumors in the breast are aggressive and grow quickly, most grow slowly. In some cases a tumor may have been growing for as long as 10 years before it creates a lump large enough to feel. Mammography can find cancers early, before you would have noticed any signs or symptoms. Thats why its often used as a screening test. It can also be used as a follow-up test . If youve noticed a change in your breast and are getting a mammogram, tell the technologist what you noticed before your exam. If you evernotice a change in your breasteven if youve had a mammogram recently and had normal resultsget checked out by a doctor asap. And if youve never had a mammogram before, heres everything you wanted to know .
How Can You Prevent Breast Cancer
Siteman Cancer Center has tips on how you can do it, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight is said to increase your chance of getting cancers, including breast cancer.
- Being physically active. Women who have at least half an hour of physical activity every day are said to have a lower risk of having breast cancer.
- Consuming fruits and vegetables and not drinking too much alcohol. Having a healthy diet can do wonders. As for alcohol, even low consumption of it can increase ones risk of developing breast cancer.
- Not smoking. Smoking makes one more prone to a wide array of illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, including breast cancer.
Apart from these, you may perform a breast self-exam monthly. Though there have been debates on its effectiveness in the early detection of breast cancer, breastcancer.org maintains that its a useful and important screening tool, especially when used in combination with regular physical exams by a doctor, mammography, and in some cases ultrasound and/or MRI.
This brings me to the next tip, which is undergoing the breast cancer screening thats recommended for your age range, as per Medline Plus:
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When Should You See A Doctor
After you know what your breasts normally look and feel like, any changes should be checked by a doctor. Changes may include:
- Any new lump. It may or may not be painful to touch.
- Unusual thick areas.
- Sticky or bloody discharge from your nipples.
- Any changes in the skin of your breasts or nipples, such as puckering or dimpling.
- An unusual increase in the size of one breast.
- One breast unusually lower than the other.
Remember that most breast problems or changes are caused by something other than cancer.
Even if you choose to do breast self-examinations, talk to your doctor about having regular mammograms as well as regular breast checkups at your doctor’s office or the mammogram centre.
Screening Vs Diagnostic Mammogram
The type of machine used and the process to get the first four images is the same for a screening or diagnostic mammogram. More images may need to be taken in a diagnostic mammogram to look at a specifici area more closely, and different types of tools may be used to compress the tissue in different ways.
Benefits & Potential Harms
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This Breast Cancer Awareness Month Let Us Learn Who Is More Susceptible To The Disease And What Tests Do You Need To Get Timely Treatment For It
Written by Editorial Team | Updated : November 1, 2021 10:31 AM IST
We all go through life with a lot of hesitation. With time, we have been made aware of the fact that our family and genes can tell us about some of the diseases we are more vulnerable to. Our genes try to show us what to be cautious of, however, some of us end up denying and running from it. So far, science has helped us understand that all cancers are genetic, while they may not be hereditary. We have a pair of each gene. To be able to disrupt the gene, there is a mutation in both the copies and that’s how it makes the gene non-functional and predisposes the cells carrying the mutation to divide indefinitely. However, if some patients already have a damaged copy of a gene that is important in this cell cycle or repair of DNA, inherited from their parents, the patient would be at an increased risk of developing hereditary cancer.
Should Men Be Breast Aware Too
Breast cancer affects both men and women, because both men and women have breast tissue. Although it is uncommon, men can be diagnosed with breast cancer too. About 1 in 700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Last year alone over 30 Australian men lost their lives to breast cancer. If you are a man, and you notice any new and unusual changes in your breasts, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible so that the changes can be examined by a health professional.
Anyone can get breast cancer. Men and women. Young and old. Breast cancer does not discriminate.
As everyone knows early detection makes all the differenceIve got no doubt that if Anni was diagnosed just 2 months before shed still be here Mark, NBCF Ambassador.
Three points to remember
- Breast awareness is recommended for women of all ages. However, it does not replace having regular mammograms and other screening tests as recommended by your doctor.
- Women and men can be diagnosed with breast cancer. Anybody can. For both men and women, if you notice any new or unusual changes in your breasts, see your doctor without delay.
- Most breast changes are not due to cancer, but it is important to see your doctor to be sure. When in doubt, speak to your doctor.
Together, we can stop breast cancer
Help stop deaths from breast cancer, we cant do it without you.
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What Should You Look For
Its not just lumps that you should be checking for. There are several other indicators of breast cancer that you can look out for too. Get in touch with your doctor if you notice one or a combination of the following changes in your breast:
- Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
- Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling
- A nipple that has changed position
- An inverted nipple
- Clear or bloody fluid leaking from the nipple
Benign Breast Conditions Linked To A Moderate Increase In Breast Cancer Risk
Benign breast conditions known as atypical hyperplasias are linked to a moderate increase in the lifetime risk of breast cancer. However, if you are diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, your risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in any given year remains low. The actual risk of developing breast cancer over a lifetime depends on other breast cancer risk factors as well as the age you were diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia.
Hyperplasia means that there is excessive growth of breast cells that are also atypical, meaning they have some, but not all, of the features of carcinoma in situ . These cells arent cancer but they arent completely normal either. Sometimes they are also called neoplasias.
Thanks to the increased use of mammography screening, atypical hyperplasias are being diagnosed more often than ever before. An abnormal finding through screening would lead to biopsy and examination of the tissue.
If youre diagnosed with atypical hyperplasia, keep in mind that these conditions are not breast cancer. They also dont mean you will develop breast cancer one day. Instead, these conditions suggest a potential for moderate increased risk in both breasts, not just the breast where the cell changes were found. They give you good reason to pay closer attention to your breast health and perhaps work with a breast specialist. However, most women with atypical hyperplasias will never get breast cancer.
There are two main types of atypical hyperplasia:
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What Is Breast Cancer Screening
Screening can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat.
Breast cancer screeningexternal icon means checking a womans breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. All women need to be informed by their health care provider about the best screening options for them. When you are told about the benefits and risks of screening and decide with your health care provider whether screening is right for youand if so, when to have itthis is called informed and shared decision-making.
Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which breast cancer screening tests are right for you, and when you should have them.
What Do Lumps In My Breast Mean
Many conditions can cause lumps in the breast, including cancer. But most breast lumps are caused by other medical conditions. The two most common causes of breast lumps are fibrocystic breast condition and cysts. Fibrocystic condition causes noncancerous changes in the breast that can make them lumpy, tender, and sore. Cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the breast.
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There Are Ways To Find Low
If you dont have health insurance, dont assume that means you cant get screened. There may be more ways to get good, affordable health care than you think. Each October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many mammography centers offer mammograms at reduced rates. Year round, there are organizations working to help women get screened whatever their financial and insurance status.
Getting screened for breast cancer is a crucial part of breast healthbut its not enough on its own. Heres everything you should know to take charge of your breast health.