Breast Awareness

Breast awareness is important. Do not ignore the signs. Many women with breast cancer detected it before other screening methods could.

You should report any of the following symptoms to your doctor:

  • Dimpling of the skin
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Lump in the breast
  • Retraction or distortion of the skin
  • Scaly texture
  • Skin irritation
  • Thickening or swelling of the breast
  • Unusual or unexplainable pain or tenderness

Usually suspicious findings turn out to be non-cancerous, but follow-up tests may be ordered if something suspicious is found.

Common tests include:

Biopsy
– cells or tissue is removed from the breast and then sent off to be looked at in more detail in the laboratory. Most breast biopsies do not show cancer.
Diagnostic Mammogram
– technology is the same as in a screening mammogram, however more pictures are taken. Diagnostic mammograms are used when a breast irregularity is found.
MRI
– uses magnetic fields to create a breast image. You will have an IV placed in your arm and a contrast dye will be put through the IV.
Ultrasound
– uses sound waves to create images of your breasts.