October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Although male breast cancer is very rare, it isn’t impossible. Less than one percent of all breast cancer cases develop in men and can usually be detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and skin surrounding the area.

Early detection is key. Monthly self-exams are important for becoming familiar with your breasts and checking for any abnormalities. If an irregularity is found, it should be inspected by a medical professional as soon as possible. Breast cancer may be diagnosed using a mammogram, ultrasound or clinical exam.

John Hopkins Medical Center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.” For instructions on how to conduct a self-exam at home, visit http://bit.ly/RaQbZG.

Symptoms of breast cancer may include:

A difference in how the breast or nipple feels:

  • Tenderness, thickness or a lump in the nipple, breast or underarm area
  • A change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast (similar to the texture of an orange peel

  • A lump in the breast (Not all lumps are cancerous, but all lumps should be examined by a health care professional.)

A change in appearance:

  • Dimpling
  • Unexplained changes in the size or shape of the breast

  • Unexplained swelling or shrinking of the breast (especially if only on one side)

  • Recent asymmetry of the breasts (Although it is common for women to have one breast that is slightly larger than the other, if the onset of asymmetry is recent, it should be checked.)
  • Inverted nipple
  • Skin of the breast, nipple or surrounding area becomes red, swollen or scaly
  • Ridges or pitting on the breast resembling an orange peel

Any nipple discharge:

  • Particularly clear discharge or bloody discharge

  • Unless a woman is breastfeeding, a milky discharge is considered unusual and should be checked by her doctor. It’s important to note that this is not connected with breast cancer.

 If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. However, regular screenings are always important. Check in with your doctor as soon a symptom is discovered so it can be professionally investigated.


Patient Plus Urgent Care – Get in, Get better.

When you’re sick or injured, whether routine or urgent, quality medical care should be easy to find and available when you need it. That’s the idea behind Patient Plus Urgent Care, with convenient locations in Mid City, Bocage and, now, Southdowns.

Patient Plus treats most common illnesses and injuries — the sniffles, rashes, fevers, aches, breaks and other conditions that deserve prompt treatment, but aren’t serious enough to require a trip to the nearest emergency room. The clinics provide complete diagnostic services, including X-rays, EKGs and flu and strep tests. Other services include physicals, vaccinations and more. Patient Plus clinics are open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and patients never need to call first or make an appointment.