You experience a stabbing pain in your chest, but it quickly subsides. You notice a lump in your underarm when zipping up a dress and think, “Could that be related to hormones?” Between our busy schedules and a culture that encourages us to keep pushing, even if it means ignoring the discomfort, it can be tempting to write off or ignore changes in our breasts.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer during her life. This year alone, there have been nearly 2,400 new cases in Arkansas.

To help protect our health during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and year-round, we turned to The Breast Center at CARTI about what to look out for in our monthly self-breast exams and daily routines:

  • lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area

  • swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast

  • change in the size or shape of the breast

  • dimpling or puckering of the skin

  • itchy, scaly, sore or rash on the nipple

  • pulling in of the nipple or other parts of the breast

  • nipple discharge that starts suddenly

  • new pain in one spot that does not go away

If you notice a change in your breasts, don’t panic. Research shows that 80% of breast lumps are benign and non-cancerous. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider if you notice any changes in the look or feel of your breasts.

 

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