Thursday, Oct 17, 2013

Focus on Breast Health

It’s October, and we’re talking breast health.  So what exactly does that include?  It’s about knowing your breast cancer risk based on family history; having regular screenings; knowing what’s normal for you/seeing your doctor if you notice any changes, and finally, making healthy lifestyle choices.

Below are some smart guidelines from the Susan G Komen Foundation.

1. Know your risk

• Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history

• Talk to your health care provider about your personal risk of breast cancer

2. Get screened

• Talk with your health care provider about which screening tests are right for you if you are at a higher risk

• Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk

• Have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at age 20 & every year starting at age 40

• Sign up for your screening reminder at komen.org/reminder

3. Know what’s normal for you and see your health care provider if you notice any of these breast changes:

• Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area

• Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast

• Change in the size or shape of the breast

• Dimpling or puckering of the skin

• Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple

• Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast

• Nipple discharge that starts suddenly

• New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

4. Make healthy lifestyle choices

• Maintain a healthy weight

• Add exercise into your routine

• Limit alcohol intake

• Breastfeed, if you can

And one more recommendation that we thoroughly believe in: go for a mammogram with a friend.   Meet for coffee, make it a date and most importantly, get it done.  Pictured above is us doing just that last week, with our breast care team.

Wishing you great health and a happy fall.

Warmest,

Dr. Amy Van Blaricom and Dr. Gigi Kroll

Leave a Comment