Lumps a risk factor
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and provides us with an opportunity to focus on how to find breast cancer early.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women of all ages with 1737 women diagnosed in 2014 in WA alone.
In the same year 14 WA men were diagnosed with breast cancer too.
The good news is that the earlier cancer is found the better your chance of successful treatment.
Common symptoms of breast cancer in men and women include:
A lump, lumpiness or thickening in the breast or armpit.
Dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin.
New persistent (long-lasting) pain.
An area that feels different from the rest.
Changes to the nipple such as inversion, new discharge or itchy, ulcerated skin.
Getting to know your breasts and what is normal for you is so important so that you will notice when things change.
If you do notice any unusual changes tell your doctor or health worker straight away, even if you have recently had a mammogram.
Having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have breast cancer — often the symptoms turn out to be something less serious — but it is important to get them checked.
For more information on how to find cancer early visit findcancerearly.com.au. Shenae Norris is the South West regional education Officer for Cancer Council WA.