Get in the Know, Be Breast Wise
October is largely known as the month of the Pink Ribbon. The month in which we are encouraged to aid in the fight against breast cancer. Information of the symptoms and causes are often blasted on all mediums. The emotional stories of the fighters of this cruel cancer and the ones who lost the battle sometimes scare us into doing mammograms as the reality of this disease stares at us blindingly like a Ford F150 headlights at midnight. However, to live your best Breast Life you need to be Breast Wise. That starts with knowing your breast and understanding what’s normal and what’s not.
Breasts are as unique as you are; no two are the same. It is then very important to know what is normal for your breasts. That way, if you notice something different, you can better aid your doctor to find what the issue may be. There are, however, common characteristics that can be used to assess if your breasts are healthy. What is normal and when should you check in with your doctor?
Breast lumps are the most commonly advertised symptoms of breast cancer. Most lumps, up to 80 per cent, are not cancer related. It is still important for you to visit your doctor if you find a lump or lumps in your breast, particularly if it is in your armpit or if it is still there after six weeks. Lumps in the breast are often harmless cysts filled with liquid and appear when a woman is on her period or nearing Menopause.
Colour and Texture Changes
Take note of your breast color and textures. If the skin around your breasts becomes dimpled, itchy, scaly, or red, you should check in with your doctor. Your doctor may ask you to make note of the color and texture of your breast for a few days or order a biopsy. A Biopsy includes the removal of a small piece of tissue for testing to make sure everything is okay.
Soreness and Tenderness
A lot of women feel soreness and tenderness during their periods. You should see your doctor if the pain gets worse, if it’s in a specific area of your chest, or if it affects your daily routine (like working out or lifting your children). Birth control pills, large cup size, and hormones are often the main causes of breast pain.
Changes in Size or Shape
Breasts change during a woman’s life. For example, during her period or pregnancy, pre and post breastfeeding and during menopause. If you are noticing changes in your breasts outside of the instances mentioned then check with your doctor to ensure everything is okay.
Nipple discharge is any fluid that comes out of your nipple. It is normal during pregnancy and breastfeeding and may occur before the start of menopause. Check in with your doctor if the liquid is bloody, greenish, or clear, or if it affects only one breast, if there’s a lump, whether you’re in menopause or not. The discharge may be an indication of an infection, a cyst, or the presence of cancerous or non-cancerous lumps.
Luckily there are health insurance plans in the market geared towards female related issues and unique health complications. For example, Sagicor Life’s Total Woman Health plan. Health insurance with a feminine touch. Click here to learn more about Total Woman.
Remember, to Live your Best Breast Life, you need to be Breast Wise.