Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Fortunately, when breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is almost 100 percent, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
Since early detection is the key to successful treatment, here are 3 steps from NBCF for achieving an early diagnosis:
Familiarize yourself with your breasts so you know how they normally look and feel. Having a baseline awareness of your breasts will help make it easier to detect any changes, such as a lump or thickening, change in shape or size, dimpling or puckering in the breast skin, a nipple turned inward, discharge from nipple, or scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola.
2. Well-Woman Exam
The NBCF recommends that women visit their gynecologist or primary care physician for a Well-Woman exam once a year. A Well-Woman exam includes a routine pelvic exam and pap smear and a brief breast exam to check for abnormalities. This routine visit is an ideal time to discuss your breast health.
Women aged 40 and older should get a mammogram once a year. An x-ray of the breast, mammograms are an effective way to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, before it can be detected by touch and it’s easiest to treat.
Renowned plastic surgeons Drs. Gregory Baum and Anthony Deboni are experts in breast reconstructive surgery and offer a full spectrum of the latest breast reconstruction options for breast cancer patients and survivors. They will work closely with you, supported by an attentive and highly trained team, to devise a reconstructive plan that suits your needs and ensures your optimal comfort. To learn more, call 315.663.0112 or request a consultation today!