October- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer, or any Cancer for that matter is something we find hard to understand. It affects 1 in 8 women in their lifetime, it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and it is estimated that 222, 000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,000 will die each year. While these facts are absolutely heart wrenching, doctors, scientist and the National Breast Cancer Foundation is working endlessly to help inspire those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.
SIGNS AND SYPMTOMS OF BREAST CANCER
Performing monthly breast exams are extremely important in early detection of breast cancer. One of the most common signs of breast cancer is finding a lump. It is important to remember that not all lumps are cancerous and must be evaluated by a healthcare professional. Any change in the breast or nipple is also something to be aware of. Tenderness, a change of skin texture, enlargement of the pores, unexplained shrinkage, swelling or dimpling of the breast are signs that you should be seen by a professional. It is also important to remember even if you do not have these symptoms, you should not dismiss breast cancer screenings in general.
CLINICAL BREAST EXAMS
The goal is early detection! Clinical Exams are different from Self- exams. Self-exams are something women should do monthly at home. A clinical exam is done by a health care professional who is trained to notice abnormalities and warning signs. Dr. Ali, Jennifer Leary, APN, and Cassie Wellock, PA-C can perform clinical exams in our office with an appointment. If for any reason they feel we need to take the next step in early detection, we will!
Mammograms can often detect a breast lump before it is felt. Mammograms can also show tiny clusters of calcium called microcalcifications. If lumps or specks are seen in a screening mammogram, additional tests are needed.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are many ways you can support those affected by breast cancer. $100 helps pay for a mammogram for a women in need. You can go to
www.NationalBreastcancer.org to donate. You can also go to the website and register to join a team to fundraise, or volunteer to help educate women.
As always, we strive to give you the best health care treatment we possibly can. We offer the BRAC1 and BRCA2 gene mutation blood test in the office if you or a family member has a history of breast cancer. Having the gene mutation is uncommon, but the blood test will help you learn whether you carry an inherited BRCA gene mutation and get an idea of your personal risk for breast cancer.
OUR MISSIONS STATEMENT
“Our goal is to deliver the highest quality healthcare while in doing so wielding the personal attention, compassion and care necessary and absent in this monotone industry”