David O. Smith MD, F.A.C.S  |  6545 France Ave. S, #505  |  Edina, MN 55435  |   Call Today: 952.922.0895

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It’s that time of year again: time to get out your pink and help to raise awareness about breast cancer. And like every October, there are so many ways that you can get involved. But knowing what you’re up against is the first step toward beating this all-too-prevalent disease. That’s why we’re taking a closer look at the effects of breast cancer and how to stop it altogether.

Breast Cancer by the Numbers

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. In fact, one in eight will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. And in the U.S. this year alone, more than 252,700 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed. It also ranks as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths with more than 40,500 people succumbing to the disease this year. Those figures boil down to one breast cancer diagnosis every two minutes and one death from it every 13 minutes.

Detecting Breast Cancer Early

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent breast cancer. But early detection can give you the very best shot at a successful treatment. While many of breast cancer’s symptoms can’t be noticed without a professional screening like a mammogram or ultrasound, there are some signs that can be felt or seen with regular self-checks. These include:

  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • Dimpling or puckering in the skin of the breast.
  • A nipple turned inward into the breast.
  • A fluid discharge from the nipple.
  • Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola.
  • Other changes or developments.

If you do find an unusual lump or bulge in your breast, the best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with a professional immediately. But beyond that, don’t panic! Most lumps actually turn out to be non-cancerous with four out of five being benign, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The Effects of Breast Implants

Breast implants may not make you more susceptible to breast cancer, but they can change how you approach screening and detecting for cancer. Your regular mammogram can be slightly more complicated after breast augmentation. Depending on the placement, a breast implant may actually have the effect of obscuring x-ray images, making it more challenging to determine if any cancer is present.

Options Following Breast Cancer

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you may be advised to undergo a mastectomy. But that doesn’t mean that you will have to live without a vital part of your feminine body. Breast reconstruction with implants can replace your former breast tissues with extremely realistic and natural-feeling saline or silicone breast implants. And sometimes the implants can be inserted during the mastectomy procedure, which can help to provide a great sense of relief to many breast cancer sufferers.

How You Can Help the Cause

If you’d like to join the fight against breast cancer, there are so many ways to help. You can donate to organizations like the National Breast Cancer Foundation or the Susan G. Komen foundation. These groups support invaluable research to better understand breast cancer and how to beat it. They also provide services like mammograms and assistance for those who may be struggling to find sufficient medical resources.

You can also work to raise awareness by sharing your breast cancer story with friends and loved ones. Whether in person or on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, this can have a powerful impact on those you’re connected to. And there’s no shortage of ways to get involved in your local community by participating in walks, runs, and events to show your support.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Edina, MN

If you would like to learn more about breast surgery after cancer at Smith Plastic Surgery, please contact us for more information or to schedule your consultation today.