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3 Action Steps You Can Take in the Early Detection of Breast Cancer and What We Can Do To Help

It takes tremendous inner strength and incomparable courage to fight and overcome breast cancer. In the United States alone, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. While breast cancer originates from malignant cells in the breast tissue, the disease may often present in other forms than lumps and in other locations in the body outside of the breast. For example, this could include swelling in and around your breast, collarbone or armpit; a thickening of skin, redness in or around your breast, an increased sense of warmth or itching of the breast or nipple discharge (leakage), discoloration or other anatomical changes of the nipple. The good news is that in recent years, there has been a gradual reduction in breast cancer cases for women aged fifty and above with a larger decline in deaths caused by breast cancer since 1990.

While breast cancer unfortunately cannot be prevented,  you can help in the early detection process and stop the spread of the disease as best as possible. With increased awareness and early detection being key components of fighting breast cancer, here we share three key action steps you can take now to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer and promote both your breast and overall health.

Action Step Number One: Know Your Breasts to Know The Signs

Ladies, we’ve got to get comfortable being up close and personal with our breasts. Frequent self-exams (monthly is recommended) will enable us to spot anything out of the ordinary and empower us to take action right away if we do. What to look for? Any change in how the breast or nipple feels or looks and any sign of  clear or bloody discharge. If anything seems abnormal or different from one month to the next, please contact your healthcare provider to set up a clinical breast exam which will be performed by a qualified nurse or physician to check for any lumps or other physical changes that may need to be investigated on a deeper level.

Self-exam: Please see this complete, informative guide on how to perform a breast self-exam from the National Breast Cancer Foundation here:  

Action Step Number Two: Schedule Your Mammogram

Because breast lumps can often be seen with x-ray technology before they can be felt, it is imperative that we follow the recommended guidelines and schedule a mammogram. Early detection here is critical. Women aged forty and above should have a mammogram every few years where it is advised that women below forty who show signs of risk factors for breast cancer should seek medical advice from their physician on when to schedule and how often to have the exam.

Action Step Number Three: Make Healthy Choices

It’s easy to talk about leading a healthy lifestyle, but what exactly does that look like? The National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, eating fruits and veggies, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol are five habits that can help in reducing the risk of getting breast cancer.

Again, we acknowledge the incredible amount of inner strength and incomparable courage to fight and overcome breast cancer. Blue Water Urology Associates is proud and honored to help breast cancer survivors combat the vaginal and urological side effects associated with cancer treatment. Chemotherapy can lead to early-onset menopause or worsening symptoms in overactive bladder, vaginal dryness and burning in post-menopausal women, particularly in the courageous women who are cancer fighters and survivors.

We know it involves a support team and a group of caregivers to help you feel like your normal, best self again and we would be thrilled to help with our in-office procedure known as the MonaLisa Touch. It’s hormone-free, painless and time-efficient. If your menopause symptoms are keeping you from enjoying life, call our office and schedule a consultation. Let us help you take care of you and encourage you to take care of yourself and check off these action steps to help promote early detection of this disease.

Lauren Rogers

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