Breast cancer is detectable, treatable, and beatable. The earlier breast cancer is caught, the better your chances are of achieving remission or even a cure.
If breast cancer is left untreated, it can develop into malignancy and spread (metastasize) beyond the breast to other parts of the body. This is particularly concerning if it spreads to nearby vital organs, such as the lung and liver.
Thanks to modern medicine and widespread awareness of the importance of getting mammograms at certain points of a woman’s life, breast cancer is detectable and can be treated with great success. Let’s talk about what to look for insofar as breast cancer symptoms, and where you can go in Sarasota and Manatee counties for a world-class cancer center to help you stay healthy for a lifetime.
What Are Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Some of the most common symptoms of breast cancer include the following:
- Bloody or sticky discharge from a nipple
- Changes in nipple (areola) appearance, such as darkened or mottled color, puckering, crusting, or scaling
- A lump that feels firm in the breast or armpit area (it may or may not hurt when applying pressure to the lump)
- Skin dimpling in the nipple or other area of the breast
- A thickened, orange-peel appearance to the skin on the breast
- Changes in shape and size of the breast
- Breast pain or tenderness
Perform a Manual Monthly Self-Check
It is ideal to check your breasts manually once a month, in the shower, for any signs of change. If you forget to do it, conduct the self-check as soon as you remember. It is best to use soap or shampoo to ensure optimum tactile accuracy and thoroughness.
Feel the entire area of the breast and armpit for any lumps, tiny bumps, or discharge from the nipple. If you find anything, do not be alarmed, but do see a doctor for an evaluation of the issue.
How Can I Protect Myself Against Breast Cancer?
A healthy lifestyle is a great defense against all kinds of chronic diseases, including breast cancer. Keep your weight in check, exercise, and consume a low-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that is high in fiber.
Also, be aware of your family history of breast cancer – and tell your doctor if you have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) who has or had breast cancer. This information may change your screening protocol, such as what age at which you should start having mammograms and how often to have them.
Trusted Cancer Center in Sarasota, FL
At Intercoastal Medical Group, our comprehensive medical team serves patients of all ages and provides preventive care and treatments for a wide range of health issues. Our on-staff oncologists are Dr. Penny Heinrich and Dr. Andrew Marple, and they can provide efficient and accurate treatment of breast cancer and all other types of cancer.
If you’re experiencing any of the common symptoms listed above, Intercoastal Medical Group encourages you to schedule an appointment with an Internal or Family Medicine physician. From there, a tissue diagnosis ordered by the primary care provider will determine if your symptoms are cancer-related. If you do not have a primary care physician, please visit Intercoastal Medical Group’s website to establish with one today.
We have several locations across Sarasota County and Manatee County. Call us today at (941) 200-1125 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heinrich or Dr. Marple, or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!