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> Susan G. Komen Twin Cities Race for the Cure® > Understanding Breast Cancer
Understanding Breast Cancer
Making sense of the complex world of breast cancer can be overwhelming. Whether you are facing a personal diagnosis or that of a friend or loved one, there are many steps you can take to help you better understand the many faces of this disease. Learn about your personal risk and ways to take an active role in your breast health. Read about being a survivor, or offering support to a breast cancer survivor. Find local resources available to assist you. Becoming informed and empowered is the first step in battling this disease.
Know about your personal risks and ways to take an active role in your breast health.
Know your risk
- Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history.
- Talk to a doctor about your risk of breast cancer.
- Talk with a doctor about which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk.
- Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk.
- Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and each year starting at 40.
- Sign up for a screening reminder at www.komen.org/reminder
Know what is normal for you
See a doctor if you notice any of these breast changes:
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
- 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
Make healthy lifestyle choices
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Add exercise into your routine.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Limit menopausal hormone use.
- Breastfeed, if you can.
Click here to use our interactive tutorial to better understand the development of breast cancer, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment options.