By Alanna Saunders
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In our community, breast cancer is one of the many health concerns we often do not discuss. It's time to get candid about breast cancer.
According to the CDC, “Black women and white women get breast cancer at about the same rate, but Black women die from breast cancer at a higher rate than white women.”
Black women younger than 40-45 years old are increasingly being diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to white women.
All women are different and can experience varying symptoms. Some common symptoms include:
Pain in any area of the breast.
Thickening or swelling in part(s) of the breast.
New lump in the breast or underarm.
Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
Nipple discharge including blood.
Any change in the size or the shape of the nipple and breast.
What can we do?
Pay attention to your breast. You know them better than anyone else. If something looks or feels different than normal you should follow up on it, do not wait. Talk to your doctor.
Early detection is key to treating cancer when it’s smaller. Schedule mammogram screenings regularly, and if your family has a history of breast cancer talk to your doctor about screening younger than 40, which is the recommended age according to the CDC.
Breasts can change due to having your period, gaining or losing weight, medication, and having children.
Take a few moments and check your breast. Read and do your research, it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.