Last week, I had the chance to catch up with my friend, Christina Rodriguez. Christina is a Mammography Technologist, and during our chat, she told me just how important it is to perform those self checks. She was also kind enough to send me the below information to share with you all - please share with your loved ones, there is some very valuable information here!
Christina was kind enough to sit for a few portraits when she visited the Studio, I am so pleased to share them below. Thank you, Christina! I leave you to her words below, please read and share. --MB
Every woman wants to know what she can do to lower her risk of breast cancer. Some factors associated with breast cancer- being a woman, your age, your genetic makeup and family history for example can’t be changed. Other factors can be changed! Today there are many risk factors, through lifestyle and environmental factors, which have been contributed to more women being diagnosed with breast cancer. MOST breast cancers AREN’T inherited! This means there are many things that you can do to lower your risk of being diagnosed. By choosing the healthiest lifestyle options possible, you can EMPOWER yourself and make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible. Set your goals and strive to do your best you can on an everyday basis!
National Breast Cancer Awareness month is a chance to raise awareness about the IMPORTANCE of early detection of breast cancer. Make a difference! Spread the word about awareness of early detection to your network! You never know you may save a life!!
“The POWER to DETECT breast cancer is in your hands”. Monthly breast self- exams (BSE) can be an important way to find breast cancer early, when it’s more likely to be treated successfully. Not every cancer can be found this way, but it is a critical step YOU can and SHOULD take for yourself! 40% of breast cancer diagnoses began with woman detecting lumps in their own breasts. The more you examine your breasts, the more familiar you become with them and easier it will become for you to tell if something unusual has occurred. BSE is an essential part of taking care of yourself and lowering your risk of breast cancer!
Some important guidelines on Breast self-exams, clinical breast exams with a physician and mammograms-
- Starting at age 20 you should perform breast self-exams 7-10 days after your period, if you do not have periods anymore perform at the same time every month.
- Have a clinical breast exam with a physician every 3 years(at least) starting at age 20, and annually after age 40.
- Have annual screening mammogram starting at age 40. Consult with a medical professional about when to begin if you have a family history of Breast cancer.
- Regularly feeling and looking at your breasts will alert you to other changes that might indicate breast cancer as well aside from a lump here are some warning signs-
- Changes in Appearance:
- Swelling, redness or darker spots
- Changes in size or shape
- Dimpling or puckering
- Pulling in the nipple or other parts of breast
- Unfamiliar sensations:
- If your breast feels warm
- New pain in one spot that does not go away
- Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- Unusual symptoms-
- Nipple discharge (clear or bloody), especially if discharge comes from only one breast
Most of the time a benign condition is the cause behind these symptoms. However, the only way to be sure is to see your health care provider and get checked out. Remember that survival rates are highest when patients and providers detect breast cancer early!