The month of October was declared the pink month, also known as breast cancer awareness month. The theme for the month was “RISE”. The goal was to ensure every woman has access to the screenings she needs and the support she deserves. We have put together a fact sheet that shows all the screening processes available for the prevention and early detection of breast cancer.
About Breast Cancer
More than 24% of all cancer diagnosed in 2020.
Age – an increase in age, increases the risk
Sex – females
Family History of Cancer
Reproductive history – Early menstrual cycle before the age of 12, late menopause after 55years
Radiation – previous treatment with radiation therapy
Drugs – exposure to certain drugs
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- Obesity & Overweight
- Physical inactivity
- Hormones – Hormonal replacement, Contraceptive pills
- Alcohol – risk increases with increased consumption
- Reproductive history – not breastfeeding, first pregnancy after 30 years
- Stand in front of the mirror with your hands by your side
- Look for puckering, dimpling, change in color, size, shape, or asymmetry
- Raise your hands and check if the ridges under your breasts are symmetrical
- Lying with your back on the bed
- While in the shower
What to do while palpating:
- Use the tip of your fingers, to feel for lumps, pains, or discharges from the nipples
- Take your time and use a pattern
- Work in four regions, upper right and left, lower right and left, then finally feel the armpit (axilla)
- Change the pressure on your fingers to feel different breast tissues.
- Light pressure for areas close to the skin
- Medium pressure for tissues a little deeper
- Apply stronger pressure for tissues closer to the chest and ribs.
- Slightly Lumpy, painful, and changes in size during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and or lactation.
When to consult your doctor
- A hard lump near your underarm
- Unusual changes in the look and feel of the breast
- Ridges on the skin of your breast
- Nipple discharge (blood or milky)
- Redness, swelling, or pains
- Scales, wounds, or rashes
- Nipple deformity
Clinical Breast Examination – Examination of breasts by medical professionals.
Breast Ultrasound: A machine that uses sounds to create pictures of areas inside the breast
Diagnostic Mammography: A breast X-ray is used to examine lumps in the breast
Breast magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A body scan that creates a picture of the breast using a magnet linked to a computer.
At RFC, we can do the clinical breast exam, however, we have partner Cancer diagnostic centers for ultrasounds and mammograms.
Biopsy: Takes a small sample of breast tissues from your breast for pathology studies.
Some of our healthcare plans at Reliance Health cover cancer care. Go to www.reliancehmo.com to find out if your plan covers cancer care.