Episode summary introduction:
Only 65.3% of women aged 40 and over have had their biennial mammograms in the last 2 years. Raising awareness regarding these private and downright uncomfortable procedures will make it easier for women to unite and raise these numbers. All women should feel comfortable and know they have the power to bring up these screenings at their doctors appointments, even if the doctor does not mention them.
Did you know that men are also diagnosed with breast cancer as well? People don’t realize that men have breast tissue and can develop breast cancer too.
Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all.
Some warning signs of breast cancer are—
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.
Possible symptoms of breast cancer to watch for include:
Lump, hard knot or thickening in the breast, chest or underarm area (usually painless, but may be tender)
Change in the size or shape of the breast
Dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin of the breast
Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
Pulling in of the nipple (inverted nipple) or other parts of the breast
Sometimes breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone, causing a lump or swelling there
Even before the original tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt.
Risk Factors for breast cancer for women and men are not that different. Family history and genetics do play a role in whether one is more likely to have breast cancer. Obesity, smoking and drinking alcohol are considered risk factors for possible breast cancer.
-- Patients should be performing self-breast exams 5-10 after onset of menstruation
-- Women aged 50-74 should get mammograms every other year for screening.
-- Women aged 40-49 should talk with their providers regarding any known risk factors for earlier screenings (still biennial). Examples: known family history, positive genetic testing, history of chest radiation
They will also carry out a physical examination.
They may suggest the following tests:
a nipple discharge test
Most insurance companies will cover cancer screening 100%. Please check with your insurance company to see if your breast cancer screening would be free.
As nurses we are educators. This naturally extends to friends and family outside of work. We have people telling us things that we do not need or want to know! However, we listen and give advice constantly. We have the ability to empower people with knowledge to make sound health care decisions.
Link a self breast exam cheat sheet
Women Breast Cancer
Male Breast Cancer