Approximately one in eight (12%) of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States. The good news is; most women can survive breast cancer if it is found and treated early. Each October, major breast cancer charities, like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Collation Fund, work to increase awareness of the disease through the National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. This campaign aims to raise funds for breast cancer research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.
Preventive health screenings, like mammograms and annual check-ups, are vital for early detection of breast cancer. While the most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass, it is important to understand breast cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms.
5 common signs and symptoms of cancer
The skilled physicians and staff at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) want to help women understand the signs symptoms of breast cancer, so you can recognize them quickly and get the medical attention you need. Here are five common signs and symptoms of breast cancer:
- Swelling in all or part of the breast, even if no lump or mass is felt
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Redness, scaling or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
It is important to be familiar with the size, shape and texture of your breasts so you can detect any changes as soon as they occur and seek immediate medical attention. The experienced physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers recommend performing a breast self-exam at least once a month.
5 ways your doctor can detect breast cancer
If you or a loved one is concerned about breast cancer, it is important to seek medical advice. Our physicians have the equipment and technology necessary to diagnose breast cancer as well as the skill and compassion to treat it. Here are five ways your doctor can detect breast cancer:
- Breast exam
Your doctor performs a physical exam and feels for any lumps or abnormalities in your breast and lymph nodes.
A skilled technician takes x-rays of your breasts to screen for breast cancer.
- Breast ultrasound
Your doctor or technician performs an ultrasound to determine whether a breast lump is a solid mass or a fluid-filled cyst.
Your doctor removes a sample of breast cells for testing.
An experienced technician uses an MRI scanner to generate images of the inside of the breasts.
For more information about women’s health in Pomona Valley, contact PVHC at 909-536-1493.