Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it is found and treated early. A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat.
The signs and symptoms that should be discussed with a doctor include:
- A lump that feels like a hard knot or a thickening in the breast or under the arm. It is important to feel the same area in the other breast to make sure the change is not a part of healthy breast tissue in that area.
- Change in the size or shape of the breast.
- Nipple discharge that occurs suddenly, that is bloody or that occurs in only one breast.
- Physical changes such as a nipple turned inward or a sore in the nipple area.
- Skin irritation or changes, such as puckering, dimpling, scaliness or new creases.
- Warm, red, swollen breasts with or without a rash with dimpling resembling the skin of an orange.
- Pain in the breast, particularly breast pain that doesn’t go away. Pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer, but should be reported to a doctor.
The LENOWISCO Health District offers breast and cervical cancer early detection services through the Every Woman’s Life (EWL) program to eligible women. EWL is a public health program that helps uninsured, low-income women, ages 40-64, gain access to free breast and cervical cancer screening services. Screening and early detection reduces death rates, improves treatment options, and greatly increases survival.
For more information, contact your local health department to make an appointment for breast cancer screening:
- Lee County Health Department, 276-346-2011;
- Scott County Health Department, 276-386-1312; or
- Wise County Health Department, 276- 328-8000.