Breast cancer affects more than 217,000 people a year in the United States alone. It is a serious disease that can be treated by a team of healthcare professionals with different specialties.
Members of a healthcare team might include a surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, radiologist, pathologist, oncology nurse and social worker, among others. Not everyone with breast cancer should receive the same treatment. Your particular medical situation will determine the type of treatment you receive.
Getting tested regularly improves your chances for early detection. The screening tests can aid in detection of early tumors, particularly those that develop between annual mammograms and clinical breast exams. Monthly self-exams help you become familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel. This can help you recognize changes, such as thickening, lumps, spontaneous nipple discharge, dimpling or puckering.
Don't be overly worried if you think you feel a lump. Breast tissue naturally has a lumpy texture, and this lumpiness is more noticeable in some people than in others. If you feel the lumpiness throughout your breast, it is probably just the normal breast tissue and not something to be concerned about. If you discover a new lump that feels different from the rest of your breast—one that is firmer or different from what you have felt before—you should have it checked by your doctor.
For more detailed information about breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society Web site at www.cancer.org.
The Breast Cancer Site
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