Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Rendering of a Pink RibbonOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For more information about Breast cancer visit the American Cancer Society website (ACS).

Below are some quick facts from the American Cancer Society:

  • Breast Cancer is a malignant tumor or group of cancer cells that grow in the breast.
  • Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. When these abnormal cells grow out of control and invade other tissues, they are then cancer cells.
  • Early detection is the key: Women in their 20-30s should administer Brest Self-Exams (BSE) monthly. Women age 40 and older should have routine mammograms annually.
  • A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast to detect and reveal abnormalities. Your gynecologist generally orders the mammogram. The scan is performed by a tech and interpreted by a radiologist.
  • About 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer.
  • Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
  • There are 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

Signs & Symptoms of Breast Cancer provided by the ACS:

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. They can even be painful. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast mass or lump or breast change checked by a health care professional experienced in diagnosing breast diseases.

Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • 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)

Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt. Swollen lymph nodes should also be reported to your doctor.

What is your Breast Caner IQ? Take this Breast Cancer Quiz to learn more!