Breast Cancer Program Reassures Screening

October 2017 marks the  Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer Program has launched its awareness campaign this October encouraging women to early detection.
 

What are the Signs of Breast Cancer?

As you shower this morning, you feel tenderness in your left breast.  You press firmly a couple more times to be sure.  No, this is not something you’ve felt before; it’s not the tenderness you feel just before your monthly menstrual cycle.  Should you be concerned?  Should you do something?

Breast changes such as tenderness or lumps that might indicate cancer are often benign and nothing to worry about.  But it’s important to know the symptoms of breast cancer so that you can seek treatment early if they do occur.  In the early stages, there are usually no symptoms.  But as the tumor grows, a number of signs may grab your attention:

  • A lump or thickening in your breast or underarm that feels different from the surrounding tissue.  This is often the first outward sign of breast cancer, so be sure to have any lumps or unusual breast changes checked by your doctor.  The good news is that most breast lumps turn out to be non-cancerous.
  • Breast pain or tenderness.  Lumps associated with cancer are typically not painful, but breast pain or tenderness can be a sign of breast cancer.
  • A change in your breast’s size, shape, or texture.  A flattening or indentation of an area of your breast can be caused by an underlying tumor.  Redness, scaling, skin irritation or dimpling of the skin should be checked.  Red, pitted skin which resembles the skin of an orange can be a sign of advanced breast cancer.
  • An inverted nipple (turned inward) and/or pain in your nipple.
  • Nipple skin changes such as dimpling, redness, peeling, flaking, or ulceration.  You may also experience itching or a burning sensation in your nipple.
  • Any unusual nipple discharge other than breast milk.  This may be bloody, clear or another color.  It is often found to be benign and not cancerous, but should be evaluated.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes or swelling in your armpit.  Any swelling in this area can be associated with cancer.

 

As part of your normal health routine, it’s important to be ‘aware’ of the appearance and feel of both your breasts.  Notice their shape, texture, color, and size.  Be aware of any irregular areas of thickening or lumps that normally feel different.  These need to be evaluated by your doctor if they haven’t already.  Are your nipples usually inverted; what does the skin of your nipple usually look like?  This should be a regular part of caring for your body, and being aware of what is normal for you allow you to quickly recognize a change.

 

If you note any of these changes in your breast, see your doctor to get them checked as soon as possible.  Remind yourself that 80% of breast lumps are benign, and many other breast changes can be caused by an infection or other non-cancerous condition.  Getting any changes checked quickly can ease your concern, and if it is cancer, you have a much greater chance of survival and successful treatment by finding and treating it early.

*National Guidelines for Jordan:

Screening/ Age

20-29 years

30-39 years

40-50 years

50 years+

Self-Breast Exam

Monthly

Monthly

Monthly

Monthly

Clinical Breast Exam

Once every 1-3 years

Once every 1-3 years

Annually

Annually

Mammogram

-------

-------

Once every

1-2 years

Every 2 years

 

 

For more information on breast cancer or for a list of centers that offer clinical breast exams and discounted mammograms, please contact the Jordan Breast Cancer Program on 0 800 22 246

Visit the JBCP website for further information: https://www.facebook.com/JordanBreastCancerProgram

 

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