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What Are the Early Warning Signs of Breast Cancer?

What Are the Early Warning Signs of Breast Cancer?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month ! During this month, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and other organizations promote education and encourage open conversations about breast health at all ages. Breast cancer is a relatively common type of cancer – nearly one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, and there are currently four million women in the U.S. living with a breast cancer diagnosis.  Men are also affected by breast cancer with more than 2,700 men diagnosed each year.

To help you take charge of your own health, and to support friends as they manage their own health journey, it is important to understand the causes of breast cancer, how to measure your personal risk and how to identify the early signs of breast cancer.

Causes of Breast Cancer

At Anthology of Plano, and many other senior living communities, the culture is focused on overall health and wellness. So, how does breast cancer risk fit into overall health? How do you get breast cancer? And how do you know your level of risk?

Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, which causes a mass of tissue called a tumor. Similar to other cancers, breast cancer can grow into the tissue surrounding the breast. It can also travel to other parts of the body and form new tumors; this process is known as metastasis. While it is a known fact that breast cancer develops in abnormal cells, experts still do not know exactly what causes the cells to divide and multiply in the first place. However, there are several risk factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing breast cancer. These include:

Women are more likely to develop breast cancer than men.

People over the age of 55 are at increased risk.

Tobacco use is linked to several types of cancer, including lung cancer and breast cancer.

Maintaining a Anthology of Grayslake, a healthy lifestyle includes a focus on activities, a nutritious diet, physical activity, and emotional and mental health support.

Radiation exposure
Radiation therapy, especially in the areas of the head, neck or chest, can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

Family history
Having family members who have developed breast cancer can be an indicator of an increased risk. Up to 10% of breast cancers are due to single abnormal genes passed down from parents to children; these genes can be identified by genetic testing.

Hormone replacement therapy
Anyone undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is at a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Alcohol use
Research shows that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of certain types of breast cancer.

What Are Early Signs of Breast Cancer?

The healthcare professionals and senior care experts at Anthology of Anderson Township recommend receiving regularly scheduled mammograms to help with early detection. At Anthology of Midlothian, residents have access to the outstanding cancer care available at Johnston-Willis Hospital right down the road!

Knowing how your breasts look and feel normally is an important part of maintaining breast health. If you know what your breasts should look and feel like, you will be able to identify any changes. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump in the breast. While most breast lumps are not cancer, a painless, hard mass with irregular edges should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible. Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:
Swelling of all or part of a breast, even if no lump is detected
Skin dimpling
Breast or nipple pain
Nipple retraction
Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, thickened or flaking
Nipple discharge
Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or near the collarbone; this can be a sign of breast cancer spread even before the original tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt

Many of these symptoms can also be caused by noncancerous conditions in the breast. However, it is still important to have any change in the breast checked by an experienced health professional. The earlier an issue is detected, the better chance of successful treatment. For older adults living in a senior living community, like Anthology of Farmington Hills, the focuses on overall health and community are excellent support systems to help residents remember to attend their annual screenings and to discuss healthy living tips.


About Anthology Senior Living

At Anthology Senior Living, we are committed to providing the best care and community environment possible. We stay true to our values to guide every aspect of decision-making in terms of programming, healthcare and lifestyle choices.

Interested in learning more about Anthology Senior Living and our communities? Contact us today to set up a tour or to get answers to your questions. Wondering if there is an Anthology community near you? Try our community finder tool!