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HMatW Newsletter


October 2010

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  • About 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer will occur among women during 2010 in the United States.
  • An estimated 39,840 women will die from breast cancer this year in the United States.
  • About 1,970 men will be diagnosed and 390 men will die of breast cancer during 2010 in the United States.
  • In addition to invasive breast cancer, an estimated 54,010 new cases of in-situ breast cancer will occur among women in 2010 in the United States.

The term “breast cancer” refers to a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast. Usually breast cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple.

Due to the increased use of mammography, most women are diagnosed at very early stages of breast cancer, before symptoms appear. However, not all breast cancer is found through mammography. The most common symptoms of breast cancer are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge.

Symptoms include:

  • Lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  • 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 your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

If you have any of these symptoms, you should discuss them with your healthcare provider right away. Although for most people these changes will turn out to be benign (not cancer), the only way to know for sure is to see your healthcare provider. For example, breast pain is more common with benign breast conditions than with breast cancer. However, if breast cancer is present, it is best to be diagnosed at an early stage when the cancer is most treatable.

If you are unsure whether you should have a lump checked, it is best to see your healthcare provider right away. Although a lump may be nothing to worry about, you will have the peace of mind that it has been checked.

For more information on breast cancer visit www.cancer.org or www.komen.org.

Source: Susan G. Komen for the Cure, American Cancer Society, National Institute of Cancer and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.