October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

| October 9, 2011

Breast cancer is a non discriminating disease and can affect any woman in disregard of family ancestors, thus October was designated to be the Month of National Breast Cancer Awareness.

The idea of developing breast cancer is for all, alarming, and it is especially devastating for women. But to ignore the possibility of developing this type of cancer or to avoid the processes to detect the early stages of this cancer could be dangerous. All women are in risk of developing breast cancer, that’s why it’s very important to follow a preventive care three steps plan. Although breast cancer cannot be prevented, early stages detection provides a good chance for a successful treatment.

Routine care is the best known way to keep the health of your breasts, and even when the early detection is the main goal for these routine exams, some other benign conditions such as Fibrocystic Breasts (painful lumps), are frequently discovered using the same methods.

 Three Steps Plan

 Step 1:  Breast Auto-Exam

Every woman should begin to exam her breast after reaching 20 years of age, and continue this practice during her all life, even during pregnancy and after the menopause. This should be done regularly and in the same period every month. Regular examination help you learn how your breasts regularly feel, helping to get rapidly get aware of any change. Changes may include:

  • Develop of a node.
  • Strange secretions (other than milk).
  • Swelling.
  • Irritation of the skin or formation of little holes.
  • Abnormalities of the nipple (pain, redness, crust, inwards.)

If you come to recognize any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately for evaluation.

 Step 2:  Clinical Exam

Clinical exams should be performed by a specialist. The American Cancer Society recommends that:

  • Between 20 and 39 years of age, women should be clinically examined by a specialist every three years.
  • After 40 years of age, women should be examined by a specialist every year.

The medical exam performed by a doctor or a certified nurse includes very similar procedures to those of auto-exam. Women practicing BSE (Breast Scanning Exam) routinely are more prepare to ask questions and make her worries to be discussed momentarily.

Step 3:  Mammography

Mammography is radiography of the breasts using low intensity X-rays to find internal changes that may have occurred. It is the most common imaging technique. Mammography can detect anomalies or some other problems before for example; a node grows big enough to be sensed, although, a biopsy is necessary to assure the presence of cancer.  Due to an ongoing controversy about when to start and with which frequency to get a exploratory mammogram performed regularly, discuss with your physician about an schedule that suits you in accordance with your general health, medical history, risk factors, and your personal opinion or preference. According to the National Institute for Cancer, women 40 years old and older should begin exploratory mammograms one or two times a year. The American Cancer Society recommends an exploratory mammogram every year (a diagnostic mammogram could be suggested after finding a doubtful area during an exploratory mammogram).  Both organizations suggest that women with high risk of developing breast cancer should talk to their doctors to contemplate the possibility of having mammograms done early in their lives.

 

 

 

 

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