Baton Rouge, La. – Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer death, among women in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Tumor Registry. In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, throughout the month of October, Louisiana Healthcare Connections is promoting the importance of early detection to help improve the state’s rankings in breast cancer mortality.
Louisiana is third in the nation in death rates for female breast cancer, a rate that can be reduced significantly through early detection, reports the Tumor Registry. Warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer should not be ignored, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Breast cancer is largely survivable when it is found early, and regular screenings are critical to catching it when it is most treatable. Don’t put off contacting your doctor if you are experiencing breast cancer symptoms,” said Stewart Gordon, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Louisiana Healthcare Connections. “For National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we want to help educate women about breast cancer symptoms, and to encourage all women to talk to their doctors about screenings and breast health.”
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- New lump in breast or armpit
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or breast
- Pulling in of the nipple area or breast
- Nipple discharge other than breast mile, including blood
- Any change in the size or shape of the breast
- Pain in any area of the breast
“If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you talk to your doctor as soon as possible. These warning signs should be followed up on very quickly,” Gordon said. “Remember, too, to let your doctor know if you have a family history of breast cancer. Your doctor can help you to determine which screenings are right for you and how to reduce your risk for breast cancer.”
Learn more about National Breast Cancer Awareness month, breast cancer screenings and symptoms, by visiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., at www.NationalBreastCancer.org. To learn more about breast cancer support programs in Louisiana, visit the Louisiana Cancer Prevention and Control Programs at www.LouisianaCancer.org.