Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast begin to multiply uncontrollably in an abnormal way.  It can start in any of the three main parts of the breast: lobules, ducts, or connective tissue.  The type of breast cancer will depend on which cells in the breast it impacts.

In some people, this disease has no signs or symptoms.  These can vary from person to person.  It is important that you know the normal appearance, shape and feel of your breasts, examine them.

Pay attention to these warning signs of breast cancer that you should check with your doctor immediately:

  • A lump, hard lump, or thicker skin in the breast or armpit.
  • Swelling, warmth, darkening, or redness in part of the breast.
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Dimples or wrinkles on the skin.
  • Itchy, painful, scaly skin, or a rash on the nipple.
  • Irritation or sagging of the skin of the breast or nipple.
  • Sudden discharge from the nipple, other than milk, including blood.
  • Recent and persistent pain in any part of the breast.

To fight cancer, it is necessary to detect it early and treat it immediately.  Talk to your family about any family history you may have.  Talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer and ask which screening tests are indicated based on your risk.  Practice a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol consumption, doing 30 minutes of daily exercises and if you are of reproductive age, breastfeed your baby.  Your doctor is your best health ally; ask about the use of postmenopausal hormones.

Early detection of breast cancer increases your chances of surviving it.



By: Tania Mangual-Monzón, MS, BHE