Got questions about breast cancer and mammograms? We have answers.
I try to take good care of myself by exercising and eating right. Is breast cancer a concern for me?
Eating healthy foods and exercising is very important to your overall health and may help reduce your risk of breast cancer. The strongest risk factors for breast cancer are things that a woman cannot control, such as age, personal or family history of breast cancer, and age at menopause. This makes it very important to do self breast exams, having clinical breast exams and mammograms as recommended by your healthcare provider. Early detection of breast cancer through clinical breast exams and screening mammograms provides the best means of reducing the risk of dying of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among adult women in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. One of every eight adult women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
When breast cancer starts out, it is too small to feel and does not cause signs and symptoms. As it grows, however, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels. Symptoms may include—
• New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
• Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
• Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
• Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
• Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
• Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
• Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
• Pain in any area of the breast.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. Doctors use a mammogram to look for early signs of breast cancer. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. Most organizations recommend if you are age 50 to 74 years, be sure to have a screening mammogram every year. If you are age 40–49 years, you should have a screening mammogram every one to two years.
Why should I have a mammogram?
Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. When their breast cancer is found early, many women go on to live long and healthy lives.
Where can I go to get screened?
Most likely, you can get screened for breast cancer at a clinic, hospital, or doctor's office. If you want to be screened for breast cancer, call your doctor's office. They can help you schedule an appointment. Most health insurance companies pay for the cost of breast cancer screening tests.
What if I don't have insurance?
Call the Yuma County Public Health Services Family Planning Clinic at (928) 317-4540 for more information.
How can I lower my risk of breast cancer?
• Control your weight and exercise.
• Know your family history of breast cancer. If you have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer, ask your doctor what is your risk of getting breast cancer and how you can lower your risk.
• Find out the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy.
• Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Can men get breast cancer?
Men can also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. For every 100 cases of breast cancer, less than 1 is in men.
How can I learn more and what resources are available?
HealthCheck Programs - Additional Resources
Send a Health-E-Card - Remind a woman you care about to talk to her doctor about getting a mammogram with the Mammograms Save Lives electronic greeting card. Courtesy of the CDC.