Ask the Nurse

How can I decrease my risk of breast cancer?

Decrease your risk of breast cancer by taking an active role in your breast health. Along with knowing your family history and your risk factors, it’s important to know your breasts. This plays a critical role in early breast cancer detection, even with regular screening mammograms.

Check your breasts regularly, and see your doctor if you notice any of these signs:

  • A lump or thickening — in or near the breast or in the armpit — that persists through the menstrual cycle
  • A mass or lump that can feel as small as a pea
  • A change in the size, shape or contour of one of your breasts
  • Bloody or clear fluid discharge from the nipple
  • A change in the look or feel of skin on the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered, scaly or inflamed)
  • Redness of skin on the breast or nipple
  • An area that looks distinctly different from all other areas on both breasts
  • A marble-like hardened area under the skin

Having these signs does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. But if you notice any changes at all, it’s best to address them right away. This is one area of your health where it’s important to get an early opinion from a professional.

July 18, 2014 at 6:18am