Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer 10-8-14

Talk to your sisters. Talk to your girlfriends, your mothers. Heck, give yourself a good talking to if you’re a woman. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here’s what you need to talk about.


Lumps. If a new lump or mass shows up in the breast, get it checked right away by a doctor. New lumps are the most common symptom of breast cancer. Get all new lumps or masses checked without delay.


Here are some other possible red flags to get checked:


  • Breast swelling
  • Pain in the nipple or breast
  • Nipple turning inward (retracting)
  • Redness, dimpling, scaliness, or thickening of breast or nipple
  • Any fluids coming from the nipple (except breast milk)


But you know what? In addition to being aware of any body changes we can see, consider getting a screening. With routine screenings, we may catch cancer before it ever causes symptoms, while it’s still local and easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about when and how often to get mammograms (breast X-rays). Together you can make an individualized screening plan that will be most beneficial to you.


Breast cancer doesn’t have to keep taking away the people we love. So let’s talk about our plan to take charge of our health. Let’s talk about how to save lives. And then let’s do more than talk. Early detection and action are key to saving lives.


Pass it on.







Primary Author: Virginia Wilke (10/04/14)

Last Clinical Reviewer: L. Fraley (10/7/14)

Last Review and Approval: S. Ivie (10/07/14)

Date of Last Review:





American Cancer Society. (2013). Breast cancer: Facts and figures 2013–2014. Retrieved from


American Cancer Society. (2014). Breast cancer early detection: The importance of finding breast cancer early. Retrieved from


Hendrick, R. E., & Helvie, M. A. (2011). United States Preventive Services Task Force screening mammography recommendations: Science ignored. American Journal of Roentgenology, 196(2), W112–W116. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.5609


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). October: National breast cancer awareness month. Retrieved from


U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (2009). Screening for breast cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(10), 716–726. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-151-10-200911170-00008