National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 5 Ways Breast Cancer is Detected

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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.
  • Mammogram
    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.
  • Biopsy
    Your doctor removes a sample of breast cells for testing.
  • MRI
    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.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Detecting Breast Cancer

breast cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). The pink colors are unmistakable and prevalent: Watch a National Football League game or a collegiate sport in October and you’ll see pink-adorned players and coaches in officially-licensed BCAM gear. Fundraisers, events and 5K runs draw millions of participants and survivors nationwide, working to raise breast cancer awareness each year.

The media exposure, activities and events are inspiring, but the most important way you can participate in BCAM is to be proactive in detecting the disease in its earliest stages, and encourage friends and family to do the same.

Detecting breast cancer

The symptoms of breast cancer often surface as painful lumps or abnormal tissue in the breast, in the underarm area or on the nipple.

Performing monthly breast self-exams is your best chance to identify changes in the breast as early as possible. Screening mammograms (once a standard annual diagnostic for women aged 40 and up) are now recommended every two years for women aged 50 and up. If a breast self-exam reveals the following abnormalities, consult your doctor immediately:

  • Nipple tenderness
  • A lump or thickening of tissue in or near the breast or underarm
  • Change in the skin texture or enlarged pores in the breast skin
  • Lump(s) in the breast (not all lumps are cancerous, but all should be checked out by your doctor)
  • Unexplained change in breast size or shape
  • Dimpling anywhere on the breast
  • Unexplained swelling or shrinking of the breast (especially if on one side only)
  • Nipple appears turned slightly inward or inverted
  • Red, scaly, swollen or rough skin on the breast, areola or nipple

Breast health and total health

Helping you remain diligent about regular breast self-exams is an important part of the total women’s health care provided at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC).

In addition to women’s health, the dedicated physicians at PVHC possess the credentials and experience to care for your entire family. From family and sports medicine to sleep disorders and urgent care, PVHC offers convenient locations throughout Southern California’s Inland Empire in Pomona, Chino Hills, Chino Hills Crossroads and Claremont.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 909-536-1493 or click here to use our online form.