Live Well: Women's Health

Breast Cancer Awareness: Early Detection

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Published: September 30th, 2014
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“The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s mission is to help women now by providing help and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.”

- National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.®

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which means people everywhere are joining the movement to increase awareness of the disease. Chances are, you know of someone affected by breast cancer. If so, there is hope.

Early detection is key and having an Early Detection Plan enables you to be proactive about your health by reminding you to perform routine breast self-exams and to schedule clinical breast exams and mammograms, depending on your age and health history. Sign up for your free Early Detection Plan. Here are the signs and symptoms you and your loved ones should know about:

A CHANGE IN HOW THE BREAST OR NIPPLE FEELS

  • Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area
  • A change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast (some describe this as similar to an orange peel’s texture)
  • A lump in the breast (It’s important to remember that all lumps should be investigated by a healthcare professional, but not all lumps are cancerous.)

A CHANGE IN THE BREAST OR NIPPLE APPEARANCE

  • Any unexplained change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling anywhere on the breast
  • Unexplained swelling of the breast (especially if on one side only)
  • Unexplained shrinkage of the breast (especially if on one side only)
  • Recent asymmetry of the breasts (Although it is common for women to have one breast that is slightly larger than the other, if the onset of asymmetry is recent, it should be checked.)
  • Nipple that is turned slightly inward or inverted
  • Skin of the breast, areola, or nipple that becomes scaly, red, or swollen or may have ridges or pitting resembling the skin of an orange

ANY NIPPLE DISCHARGE—PARTICULARLY CLEAR DISCHARGE OR BLOODY DISCHARGE

It is also important to note that a milky discharge that is present when a woman is not breastfeeding should be checked by her doctor, although it is not linked with breast cancer.

We’re proud to be part of the movement in Helping Women Now™ and thank our many partners for their support. Join us by donating at your local GNC store or online. You make all the difference.

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