Breast cancer affects hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United States every year. The American Cancer Society estimated that “in the US in 2022, invasive breast cancer will be newly diagnosed in an estimated 287,850 women and 2,710 men.”
Women in the United States have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, a statistic that feels staggering but is an unfortunate reality. Early detection and intervention is one of the most effective things that one can do to give themselves the best chance of not only surviving, but thriving in the rest of their life.
While a small number of people who develop breast cancer experience no signs or symptoms, most do. These are the signs and symptoms to look out for if you’re concerned about having developed breast cancer:
- New lump or tissue thickening in breast or underarm (armpit)
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
- Redness, irritation, or flaky skin in the nipple area or breast
- Nipple retraction
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, such as blood
- Change in the shape, size, or appearance of the breast
- Rash around the nipple area
These symptoms can be caused by other things—for example, a lump could be a benign cyst—but they are all important to look out for, and if they occur you should contact your primary care provider as soon as possible.
There are various risk factors for developing breast cancer that may cause more people to be more cautious of these symptoms. People who were born female are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who were not. Age is also a contributing factor to the possibility of breast cancer, as most breast cancers are diagnosed in those who are 55 years old or older. A family history of breast cancer can also be an indicator of a possible future breast cancer diagnosis.
The goal of scheduling a breast cancer screening with your provider is to detect the cancer as early as possible in order to form a proper treatment plan and possibly even stop it before it causes symptoms. The decision to schedule a screening, or a mammogram, should be personal and depend on the individual. If you or someone you know should decide to get a breast cancer screening in Ocala, the experts at Marion Direct Primary Care will be with you every step of the way with attentive, caring treatment. Call us at (352)-833-6372 for more information or to schedule a consultation today.