Breast Cancer Prevention and Detection

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Fortunately, thanks to increased awareness and promising new tests and treatments, survival rates are on the rise.

Norton Cancer Institute’s Breast Health Program is here to help continue that trend across the Louisville, Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana communities we serve. We offer a full range of breast cancer diagnostic screenings and support services, including our dedicated Pink Ribbon Clinic — providing personalized guidance to women with an increased risk of the disease.

Learn more about breast cancer below, including signs, symptoms and risk factors to know. To make an appointment with a skilled specialist, call (502) 629-4440.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

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

  • Age: Women 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 may include:

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

Breast Cancer Prevention

When it comes to breast cancer prevention, early detection is key. 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.

Norton Cancer Institute offers the latest imaging technology, including digital mammography with computer-aided detection and 3-D mammography, to detect even the tiniest of tumors. Learn more about mammography and schedule your appointment at a convenient location.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

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 you find a breast lump, contact your primary care physician or gynecologist for a complete evaluation.

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