— Irritation or dimpling of the skin.
— Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
— Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
— Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
— Any change in the size or shape of the breast.
— Pain in any area of the breast.
The best way to find breast cancer is with a mammogram. If you are more than 40 years old, ask your medical provider about getting your mammogram. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is used to look for early signs of breast cancer. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. Women who are 40 years of age or older should discuss mammograms with their medical providers.
The Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program recommends annual mammograms to begin at age 40.
The same program also advises that women 20-years-old should be instructed in self breast exams and seek clinical breast exams to be perfomed by their medical providers annually. Self breast exams should be performed monthly within five to 10 days after the onset of menstrual periods. Learn how to do accurate self breast exams. Finding a change quickly and seeking care can help prevent breast cancer from spreading. Many lumps are benign (non-cancerous) but you need to know what is occurring if you detect changes in your breast. Early detection and treatment saves lives.
You can lower your risk of breast cancer by:
— Controlling your weight and exercise
— Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor about what your risk is and how you can lower your risk. Find out what the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Men can also get breast cancer but it is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than one is in men.
The Kentucky Women’s Cancer Screening Program offers low cost mammograms and pap tests to women through local health departments in every county. If cancer or pre-cancer is found, treatment services are available.
Appointments can be made by calling your local health department. Three factors are used to determine eligibility for breast and cervical cancer screening: age, uninsured or underinsured (no Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance), and income (less than 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines).
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Clark County Health Department at 744-4482.
Other resources are also available by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/uscs, www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast, http://www.cdc.gov//cancer/breast/pdf/BreastCancerFS_2010.pdf fact sheet, http://www.cdc.gov/spanish/cancer/breast/.