October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Join renowned oncologist, Dr. Edward Sang, as he takes us on a journey to demystify one of the most prevalent forms of cancer, breast cancer. Dr. Sang’s expert insights and deep understanding of the disease provide a comprehensive overview of the causes, risk factors, early detection methods, and the latest advancements in breast cancer research and treatment.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a significant health concern, but early detection can make a crucial difference in the outcome. Being aware of the signs and symptoms is essential. Here are some key indicators to watch out for:
Lump or Thickening: One of the most common signs is the presence of a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm area. These can be painless and hard, but some may be tender and movable.
Changes in Breast Size or Shape: Look for any noticeable changes in the size or shape of one or both breasts.
Pain or Discomfort: While breast cancer is not always painful, some people do experience discomfort, tenderness, or aching in the breast.
Changes in Skin: Pay attention to changes in the skin of the breast, such as redness, dimpling, or puckering, which can be signs of underlying issues.
Nipple Changes: Watch for changes in the nipple, like nipple inversion (nipple turning inward), discharge other than breast milk, or any skin changes on the nipple or areola.
Unexplained Swelling: If you notice swelling in the breast or a portion of it, especially if it’s not associated with your menstrual cycle, it’s worth investigating.
How to Do Breast Cancer Self-Examination
As it was well put by Dr. Sang, performing regular breast self-examinations is an important part of early detection. This could make all the difference when it comes to treatment. Here’s a simple guide to help you get started:
Choose a Consistent Time: It’s best to do a BSE(Breast Self Examination) around the same time each month, preferably a few days after your period ends.
Use a Mirror: Begin by standing in front of a mirror. Inspect your breasts for any changes in size, shape, or skin texture.
Raise Your Arms: With your arms at your sides, then with them raised overhead, look for the same changes.
Lie Down: Lie on your back with a pillow under your right shoulder. Use your left hand to feel your right breast, using small, circular motions. Move from the outside in, covering the entire breast and armpit area. Repeat for the left breast using your right hand.
Apply Different Pressures: Use light, medium, and firm pressure during the examination to feel different layers of tissue.
Check the Nipples: Gently squeeze each nipple and check for any discharge.
Feel for Lumps: Pay attention to any lumps or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue.
Remember that breast self-examinations should not replace regular mammograms or clinical breast examinations by healthcare professionals. If you notice any of the mentioned signs or symptoms, or if you have concerns about your breast health, it’s crucial to consult your doctor promptly. Early detection and timely medical attention can greatly improve the prognosis and treatment options for breast cancer.
The Vital Role Played by Healthcare Insurance
Having healthcare insurance plays a pivotal role when it comes to breast cancer and other health issues. Having an elaborate health plan can help you:
Through regular screenings you can detect breast cancer early
Access to quality healthcare and expert oncologists
Financial support for treatment and management
Support for survivors
Overall emotional well-being
In the realm of breast cancer, quality healthcare insurance not only provides financial assistance but also enables individuals to receive timely and comprehensive care, ultimately improving outcomes and quality of life.