October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Each year in the United States, about 240,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,100 in men. According to the CDC, no breast is typical. What is normal for you may not be normal for another woman. Most women say their breasts feel lumpy or uneven. The way your breasts look and feel can be affected by getting your period, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. Breasts also tend to change as you age.
Symptoms of breast cancer may include:
- New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
- Many conditions can cause lumps in the breast, including cancer. Most breast lumps are caused by other medical conditions. Two common causes of breast lumps are fibrocystic breast condition and cysts.
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
- Women who are 40-49 years old should talk to their physician about when to start and how often to get a mammogram, and women who are 50-74 years old and are at average risk for breast cancer should get a mammogram every two years.
Keep in mind that these symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer. However, if you’re concerned or have any symptoms listed above, be sure to make an appointment with your physician right away.