Both men and women have two. But it’s women with a one in eight chance.

According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. Less than one percent of breast cancers develop in men.

Experts recommend women age 40 and over receive a regular mammogram; however, if a family history of breast cancer exists, this may need to begin earlier.

“If there is a family history of breast cancer, JRMC offers genetic testing to identify if you carry a specific genetic mutation associated with breast, ovarian or uterine cancer,” said JRMC Gynecologist & Obstetrician, Dr. Bailey Runkles. “This testing is covered under insurance if the family history is significant.”

Breast health is often a taboo subject. The following is what is considered normal, Dr. Runkles said.

  1. Hair. It is common to find hair on and around the areola.
  1. Small bumps on the areola are called Montgomery glands, these are lubricating glands.
  1. Lopsided breasts. A woman’s breasts develop during puberty. One breast may develop prior to the other and/or one side may grow faster. Fully developed breasts to often remain different sizes.
  1. Stretch marks are normal as women age. Stretch marks are also normal when pregnant or breastfeeding.

The following are breast abnormalities:

  1. Swelling in or around the breast, collarbone or armpit can be caused by inflammatory breast cancer. This can be an indication that cancer has spread to lymph nodes in those areas. Swelling can occur prior to feeling a lump in the breast.
  1. Dimpling or skin irritation might indicate breast cancer. It is important to look for changes in the breast and surrounding areas. Look for changes in shape, size and appearance.
  1. Redness. If the skin around the breast begins to feel like an orange peel or turns red, this can be a sign of mastitis. Mastitis is a breast infection common amongst women who breastfeed. However, if symptoms don’t improve after a week or two, this could be a sign of breast cancer.
  1. If the discharge is not milk due to breastfeeding, nipple discharge is considered abnormal.

“At JRMC we are committed to providing the best technology for our community to receive care. 3D mammography is a great example, as it is the best technology available for screening mammograms and early detection of breast cancer,” shared JRMC Radiology Manager, Jason Schaffer. “Our mammographers provide a great experience while women receive their exams.”

3D mammograms help radiologists identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue. The American College of Radiology recommends that women receive regular mammograms beginning at age 40 and JRMC follows this recommendation, Schaffer said.

For breast exams, 3D mammograms, help with hot flashes, pelvic organ prolapse, infertility, contraception or pregnancy, schedule direct: (701) 952-4878.

 

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