October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Physician Assistant, Valerie McDonald, explains the signs & symptoms of breast cancer, and the importance of annual screenings by healthcare provider.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer: breast lump, tissue thickening that feels different than normal, swelling in your breast, red/pitted skin over the breast, abnormal/bloody nipple discharge, breast pain, peeling or scaling skin on the breast or nipple, a new inverted nipple, and/or lump or swelling in your armpit.

These symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer but should be addressed by your family doctor or gynecologist.

Early stages of breast cancer may not cause any symptoms that is why it is important to obtain yearly mammograms. A mammogram is the most common and most highly recommended way to image the breast. Other forms of imaging may include an ultrasound which can help further image dense breasts, or a breast MRI. The next step in evaluating a possible breast cancer is a biopsy which is commonly done right at an imaging center or by a breast specialist.

Breast cancer can also occur in men, so any abnormal sign/symptom should be addressed by your doctor.

Inspired Health Group is partnering with Windsong Radiology Mammogram bus which comes right to our office parking lot. This is a great opportunity for those patients that are due for their annual screening to come and get this done. The next screening date is December 20th.

- Valerie McDonald, PA



Related Blog: Mayo Clinic | Breast cancer prevention: How to reduce your risk

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