Millions of women are diagnosed with breast cancer Oklahoma each year. Most doctors recommend that women get a yearly breast exam once they turn 40. However, breast cancer can also affect younger women, making it all the more important to give self-examinations in addition to visiting your physician. Knowing the signs of breast cancer can help detect it early when it is the easiest to treat.
What Are the Signs of Breast Cancer?
Most breast changes are signs of normal hormonal fluctuations or other conditions like a cyst or infection. However, it can be difficult to differentiate between a mild condition and breast cancer, as the symptoms can sometimes be similar, if not the same. Remember to be mindful of the following symptoms:
- A lump in the breast or armpit
- Dimpling of the breast
- Redness or swelling
- Ulcer on the breast or nipple
- Discharge from the nipple
- Nipple changes, such as inverting or changing direction
- Scaliness on nipple or areola
- Breast pain
- Thickening of the skin, with an orange-peel-like texture
The most common symptom of breast cancer Oklahoma is a lump in the breast or armpit. These lumps may not be painful and can feel like a hard nodule under the skin with uneven edges. You most likely won’t be able to see a lump with the naked eye, so being aware of how your breasts look and feel by regularly conducting self-exams can help detect cancer early.
What to Do if You Notice Signs of Breast Cancer
If you notice any signs or symptoms of breast cancer, you should promptly consult with a doctor from the Oklahoma breast health network. Do not wait for a specific severity of symptoms to see a doctor, as breast cancer is not always painful or easily noticeable. Earlier detection is key to treating breast cancer successfully.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer
There are some steps you can take that may help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
Most breast cancer symptoms are detected through self-exams and daily activities, such as putting on deodorant.
Visit Your Doctor
Even if you don’t notice any signs or symptoms of breast cancer, it is important to discuss when to receive regular screenings and tests with an Oklahoma breast health network doctor.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Remaining active and maintaining a healthy diet may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
Regulate Alcohol Consumption
Your risk of developing breast cancer may increase with higher alcohol consumption. If you drink at all, limit yourself to one drink per day.
Limit Post-Menopausal Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy is often used to relieve the symptoms of menopause in older women. However, it may slightly increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Discuss with your doctor whether hormone therapy is the best option for you.
Join Our Breast Cancer Community Oklahoma
Early detection is critical to treating breast cancer successfully. Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be challenging, but you do not have to go through the journey alone. At Project31, our breast cancer community Oklahoma will support and encourage you throughout your journey with breast cancer. Please reach out to join a support group or learn about our other services.