Faith Regional Health Services | living WELL | Spring 2022

FRHS.ORG 9 REAST CANCER? The most important thing to do if you notice a change in your breast is to talk to your health care provider about it as soon as possible. Usually, breast imaging with a mammogram and ultrasound are performed, as well as a breast exam. Sometimes, a breast MRI may be performed. Many women with symptoms will not be diagnosed with breast cancer. Additionally, many breast cancers are found during a woman’s annual screening mammogram (without the woman having any symptoms at all). Keep in mind that imaging is not perfect, however. If you are told Be on the lookout— and speak up Any changes to the look or feel of your breasts shouldn’t be ignored. Chances are, something other than cancer is the cause. But it’s always best to let your primary care provider know if you’re having any of the following possible signs or symptoms of breast cancer: • A lump or thickening in or near your breast or in your underarm area. • A change in the size or shape of your breast. • A dimple or puckering in the skin of your breast. • A nipple that has turned inward or a sore near your nipple. • Fluid, other than breast milk, leaking from your nipple, especially if the fluid is bloody or leaks from only one breast. • Skin irritation or changes—such as puckering, dimpling, scaliness or new creases—anywhere on your breast, nipple or areola (the dark area of skin around the nipple). • Dimples in your breast that look everything is OK, but you feel things continue to change or are worsening, bring it back up to your provider or seek additional advice. The earlier we can find a breast cancer, the more likely it is that treatments will be less and the rate of cure will increase. It is understandable to be nervous or anxious about a breast concern, but almost all my patients feel better once they have the information they need to understand the diagnosis and what the treatment options are. The unknown prior to a diagnosis is the scariest time for most. —Kinzie Norris, MD Kinzie Norris, MD, Faith Regional Physician Services Breast Care 402-844-8167 like the skin of an orange. • Pain in your breast, especially if the pain doesn’t go away. What about genetic testing? Some risks for breast cancer are tied to your genetic makeup. Faith Regional offers genetic counseling and testing to assess your risk for breast cancer. While genetic testing can be helpful in some cases, not everyone needs to be tested, and each person should carefully consider the benefits and disadvantages of genetic testing. Our breast surgeon can assess your familial risks and help you weigh the pros and cons to determine if genetic testing is right for you.