October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer is a disease that can affect both men and women, so it is important to know the signs.
Here some common warning signs of breast cancer, according to the CDC:
- 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.
Keep in mind that these symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer.
If you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.
While you cannot change family history, here are some helpful factors that may help reduce your overall breast cancer risk, according to the CDC:
Keep a healthy weight.
Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks.
If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapyexternal icon or oral contraceptivesexternal icon (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
Breastfeed your children, if possible.
If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.