Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a yearly campaign to spread awareness of this disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (C.D.C.), breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States. Annual screenings allow time to monitor possible symptoms and increase the potential for early detection. By having yearly mammograms, an x-ray of the breast area, your doctor can look for abnormalities and recommend follow-up tests to make a firm diagnosis. It is important that you talk with your primary care physician about your family history and schedule an annual mammogram.

What is breast cancer?
Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells, where they grow deformities outside of their normal patterns and block out normal cells. These cells divide more rapidly and can collect as a mass in problematic areas. Breast cancer is a common type of cancer that mostly appears in women but can affect men as well. It most commonly occurs in or near the milk-ducts, but can also appear first in the lobules and can be an inherited trait from family members. Women are more likely to develop breast cancer, and your risk increases as you get older.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of breast cancer may include a breast lump or nodule, breast skin that has a different texture such as dimpling or pitting, changes is shape or size of the chest, redness or irritated skin around the areola, and others. You should see your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, even if your recent screenings were normal.

Types of Screening Processes
A mammogram is the most common type of breast cancer screening. It is an x-ray of the breast that reveals potential abnormalities to your doctor, who can guide you through the process of diagnosis. You should have a mammogram at least once a year. A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (M.R.I) can also be used but is less accurate. You should perform self-examination often in addition to your regular mammograms and report any changes to your primary care physician or health care provider. While no screening process is absolutely failproof, it is the best way for early detection and increases the likelihood of minimal treatment.

At Roger’s Family Pharmacy, we know that prevention is key to maintaining overall health and wellness. While we do not offer mammograms or other breast cancer screenings, we encourage you to talk with your primary care physician about your options and what works best with your schedule. Survival rates have increased with advances in modern medicine, but early detection for breast cancer, and any other type of cancer, is the best way to ensure a positive outcome. Click [here] to visit the United States Center for Disease Control’s website for more information regarding breast cancer. You may also consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.

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