Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually
form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. It occurs almost entirely in
women, but men can also have breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. (Only lung cancer kills
more women each year.) Death rates from breast cancer dropped from 1989 to 2007 and since
then have remained steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in
Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is an important part of breast health. Finding
breast cancer as early as possible gives you a better chance of successful treatment. But knowing
what to look for does not take the place of having regular mammograms and other screening
tests. Screening tests can help find breast cancer in its early stages, even before any symptoms
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that
has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or
rounded. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast lump or breast change checked
by a health care provider experienced in diagnosing breast diseases. Sometimes a breast cancer
can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone and cause a lump or swelling
there, even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt. Swollen
lymph nodes should also be checked by a health care provider. Because mammograms do not
find every breast cancer, it is important for you to be aware of changes in your breasts.
For more information go to https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about.html.
On a separate note, it is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in
our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally
proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can
lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per
day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several
types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect
diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving
your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place. Visit our
website at www.LCDHD.org and click the “52 Weeks to Health” banner to learn more about
each of these areas.
While at our website fill out the Health Calculator & Wellness Profile to take the first step
toward personal wellness AND to be entered for a chance to win $1,000.00.