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October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted in Breast

Hopefully everyone realizes that the month of October is breast cancer awareness month. I believe that this month is finally getting the attention that it deserves with national press and the NFL sporting the color of pink as an accessory. But let us not forget what the true message is….breast cancer will affect 1 in 8 women during their lifetime. That risk increases as women age but if diagnosed early, breast cancer can be curable. Women are encouraged to perform breast self examinations monthly and have routine visits with their primary care physicians which can include mammograms. Mammograms are necessary if a mass is suspected and as a baseline study at age 35, every other year beginning at 40 and every year after 50 years of age. If you find a mass….please don’t wait….seek your primary care physician and get a mammogram and possibly a biopsy. Certainly not all masses are cancer, fibroadenomas are the most common mass in young women and fibrocystic disease is the most common in older women…both are NOT CANCER. However, if cancer is diagnosed, treatment is obligatory. This can include removal of the lesion (lumpectomy), sampling of the lymph nodes to diagnose spread of the disease, and radiation therapy versus removal of the breast (mastectomy). Reconstruction is covered by insurance plans and can be performed immediately following the removal of tumor or breast. Breast reconstruction options include flaps of abdominal or back tissue or implants. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, please discuss with your board certified plastic surgeon. Most importantly…if you have breast cancer or know someone that has cancer, please stay positive, trust your health care professionals, and live your life with hope! Important links for more information and research are and