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Breast Cancer Prevention & Detection

Breast cancer is a very treatable disease that strikes thousands of women every year. The staff at the Norton Cancer Institute Breast Health Program is on the forefront in preventing and treating breast cancer.

Risk factors

According to the American Cancer Society, common risk factors for developing breast cancer include:

  • Age – Women age 50 and older are at greater risk.
  • No children – Women with no children or those who had a child after age 30.
  • Menstrual periods – Beginning menstruation before age 12 or beginning menopause after age 50.
  • Hormones – Hormones naturally produced or taken for birth control or hormone replacement therapy to reduce the effects of menopause may increase risk.
  • Family history – History of breast cancer on either parent’s side of the family.
  • Race – Caucasian women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than women of other races. However, African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage.

Other risks factors

  • A personal history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Obesity
  • High-fat diet
  • Inherited gene mutation
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Previous radiation

Prevention

Perform breast self-exams to become familiar with breast tissue. Report any changes to your health care professional. Have regular clinical breast exams performed by a physician. Have yearly mammograms starting at age 40, earlier if family history is present.

Signs and symptoms

The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast or underarm area. Sometimes breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes even before the original tumor is large enough to be felt. Other symptoms may include:

  • Any changes in the texture of breast tissue
  • Changes in the size of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly

Remember, 80 percent of all detected breast lumps are not cancerous and present no health risk. If a breast lump is detected, contact your primary care physician or gynecologist for a complete evaluation. Call (877) 78-BREAST to schedule a consultation.


Cancers We Treat

Brain Tumors
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