FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women could end up developing breast cancer in their lifetime.
A new survey is now putting the spotlight on how to spot the cancer.
It was conducted by the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and found that 93% of adults recognize a lump as a sign of breast cancer, but less than half can identify most of the other signs.
47-50% of women have mammographically dense tissue, which makes your breasts feel that lumpy, bumpy sensation, which makes self-breast examines really difficult.Mya Robertson – Nurse Practitioner, St. Joseph’s Breast Care and Surgery
Nurse Practitioner Mya Robertson said it’s really important for women to become familiar with their own bodies.
Women should be looking out for more than just lumps.
There are four other warning signs to keep in mind:
- Nipple Lesions
- Nipple Discharge
- Nipple Retraction
- Dimpling of the breast
Robertson said a lesion may look like a white, scaly mark on the nipple.
Discharge is usually concerning if it’s single duct, single side, or spontaneous.
Nipple retraction may be a sign of a hidden mass. “If there’s a breast mass or a mass around the nipple, it pulls that nipple in,” she said.
The same thing can happen with the dimpling of the breast. “It [a mass] usually causes the breast tissue to kind of pucker in a little bit,” said Robertson.
You may not feel the mass, but Robertson said you likely will see a dimple.
What’s not normally a sign of breast cancer: pain.
“In most cases, it’s hormonal related, caffeine, certain medications,” said Robertson. To help with that, Robertson suggests cutting out some caffeine and adding vitamin E to your diet.
During breast cancer awareness month, Robertson is pushing the importance of early detection.
She said women should get their mammograms, know their bodies, and know their own personal risk.