October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast-cancer-awareness-olympic-internal-medicineBreast cancer awareness is critical in helping women survive breast cancer. Today, this cancer is still the most common cancer among American women. Each year in the United States, more than 240,000 women get breast cancer and more than 40,000 women die from the disease. Men can also get breast cancer, but it is not very common.

Breast cancer can’t be prevented, but early detection is crucial to surviving the disease. The following steps to early detection can increase your chance of finding breast cancer before it spreads.

Breast Cancer Symptoms & Signs

Early warning signs of breast cancer may involve the discovery of a new lump or a change in the breast tissue or skin. Women should perform a self-breast exam each month and any changes or abnormalities should be discussed with their physician.

Clinical Breast Exam

A clinical breast exam is performed by a qualified nurse or doctor. A healthcare professional will check for lumps or other physical changes in the breast that may need to be investigated.


A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas.

Getting mammograms regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that if you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.

Our healthcare providers are here to help. Contact us to learn more about breast cancer screening.