It is important to be familiar with your breasts so that you know how they normally look and feel. It is also important to know that finding breast cancer early gives you the best chance for successful treatment.
Remember that regular mammograms (yearly for women over 40) and monthly self-exams are highly recommended for the early detection of breast cancer. Keep in mind, though, that mammograms do not find all breast cancers. That’s why it’s important to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so that you can be aware of changes. It is good to also know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
Possible Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer:
- Lump or mass in the breast
- Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
Report any changes to your doctor or healthcare provider. Remember, early detection is the best defense against breast cancer.