It’s October! Also known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
As young women, we must educate ourselves about our bodies and potential risk factors that can contribute to threats to our health. Breast cancer occurs when some of the cells in our breast tissue grow and reproduce more rapidly than they should. A common misconception about breast cancer is that it only affects older women. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Even we young women should stay vigilant about our breast health.
This might sound silly, but you must become very acquainted with your breasts. It is important to perform self breast-exams at least once a month.
Here are some detailed instructions on how to properly perform a breast self-exam from The National Breast Cancer Organization.
You need to be able to detect any abnormalities. If you notice any differences in your breasts, you should notify your doctor.
Examples of some concerning abnormalities:
- Nipple tenderness
- A lump/thickening in or near the breast or underarm area
- Change in skin texture
- Questionable changes in size or shape
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin around your nipple or areola
- ANY nipple discharge (especially if it’s bloody)
Even if you don’t experience any of the symptoms listed above and feel like you aren’t at risk for breast cancer, it is very important to still schedule regular breast exams with your doctor.
Below are some links for more information on breast cancer: