October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout this month the Jackson Parish Hospital is providing important information about breast cancer, including lifestyle related risk factors and how to get treatment and/or support.
Whether you or a loved one are worried about developing breast cancer, have just been diagnosed, are going through breast cancer treatment, or are trying to stay well after treatment this detailed information can help you find the answers you need.
Every person should know the symptoms and signs of breast cancer, and any time an abnormality is discovered, it should be investigated by a healthcare professional. Most people who have breast cancer symptoms and signs will initially notice only one or two and the presence of these symptoms and signs do not automatically mean that you have breast cancer. By performing monthly breast self-exams, you will be able to more easily identify any changes in your breast.
The following are signs of possibly having breast cancer:
- A change in how the breast or nipple looks or 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.
- 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 (unequal or lack of sameness) 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.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Jackson Parish Hospital at 318-259-4435.