What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms within the breast tissue. This type of cancer can occur in both men and women, although it is extremely rare among men. Breast cancer is caused by uncontrolled cell division and growth, and the cancerous breast tumors typically mature at a slow rate. Therefore, it is especially important for women to keep track if they are experiencing any breast cancer symptoms.
Who is at risk for breast cancer?
Breast cancer primarily affects females, although approximately 1 percent of breast cancer cases occur in men. Being female is the number one risk factor for breast cancer. Besides gender, women with personal or family histories of either breast cancer or ovarian cancer are at high risk, as well as women with certain genetic abnormalities such as BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 genes.
Other risk factors include:
- Women who begin their menstrual cycles before age 12 or begin menopause before age 50
- Women who are overweight and inactive
What are the breast cancer symptoms?
- A lump, hard knot or thickening in the breast
- A lump in the underarm area
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- Nipple pain, tenderness, discharge, including bleeding
- Itchiness, scales, soreness, or rash on the nipple
- Nipple turning inward or inverted
- Change in skin color and texture: dimpling, puckering, or redness
- Breast that feels warm or swollen
If you are experiencing any of the above breast cancer symptoms, please book an appointment to consult with Dr. Hill.
How can I lower my risk for breast cancer?
You can reduce your risk for breast cancer by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- If you consume alcohol, limit drinks to one a day for women
- Be physically active and exercise 30 to 60 minutes daily
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Have clinical breast exams by Dr. Hill throughout your 20’s and 30’s at least every year
- Begin annual clinical breast exams and annual mammogram screening at age 40
- Be aware of any of the breast cancer symptoms so that you can alert Dr. Hill if you are experiencing these