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Is it breast cancer?

Know the possible signs and symptoms

You’ve probably heard or read the statistic by now: About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.

Treatments work best when breast cancer is caught early. That’s why it’s important to get screened regularly for the disease if you’re 45 or older. But it’s equally as important to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer at any age, since even younger women can—and do—get the disease.

Be on the lookout—and speak up

Any changes to the look or feel of your breasts shouldn’t be ignored. Chances are, something other than cancer is the cause. But it’s always best to let your primary care provider know if you’re having any of the following possible signs or symptoms of breast cancer:

  • A lump or thickening in or near a breast or in the underarm area.
  • A change in the size or shape of a breast.
  • A dimple or puckering in the skin of a breast.
  • A nipple that has turned inward or a sore near the nipple.
  • Fluid, other than breast milk, leaking from a nipple, especially if the fluid is bloody or leaks from only one breast.
  • Skin irritation or changes—such as puckering, dimpling, scaliness or new creases—anywhere on a breast, nipple or areola (the dark area of skin around the nipple).
  • Dimples in a breast that look like the skin of an orange.
  • Pain in a breast, especially if the pain doesn’t go away.

Your provider will ask you how long and how often you’ve been experiencing these signs and symptoms. They’ll also examine your breasts. And if necessary, they may take a sample of your blood and order tests like a mammogram, an ultrasound or a breast MRI. You may need a biopsy if results of those tests suggest something suspicious.

The thought of having breast cancer can be scary. But try to remember that other conditions can cause changes to your breasts. That’s why it’s always best to see your provider and get a diagnosis.

Sources: American Cancer Society; American Society of Clinical Oncology; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Cancer Institute

3-D mammography is your best chance of early diagnosis

  • 3-D images find tumors that can remain hidden on conventional mammograms.
  • 3-D images provide a clearer view of abnormalities in dense breasts. Women who have dense breasts—defined as breasts that have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue and not much fat—are at a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Don’t risk your life with old technology: You deserve the best.

Categories: Breast cancer

Early detection saves lives

And Arbor Health, Morton Hospital is the only 3-D mammogram provider in Lewis County. Call 360.496.3523 for an appointment.

Learn more about the only 3-D mammography in Lewis County