Hey Mama,

For many of us COVID-19 has changed the way we live. People all over the nation have adapted to a new way of life, especially when it comes to doctor’s visits. Some might feel anxious sitting in a waiting room, and have delayed or avoided regular check ups. It’s important to remember that appearing healthy and actually being healthy are too different things. Most check-ups revolve around preventative care, and the earlier a doctor can intervene regarding a health issue, the better. 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s critical for women to be aware of any changes to their body. Most of us have someone in our life that has been affected by breast cancer, as 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.  

Early Detection Saves Lives

Screening tests are used to detect breast cancer before any warning signs or symptoms appear.  Women over the age of 40 should receive annual mammograms because mammograms are the most effective breast cancer screening tool today. If you’re nervous about scheduling a mammogram, talk with your medical provider about the precautions they’re taking to make you more comfortable. Regular screening tests (along with follow-up tests and treatment if diagnosed) will reduce your chance of dying from breast cancer. 

What if I see a change in my breast?

Don’t put off seeing a doctor if you notice a change in your breast or underarm area, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  • A change in the look or feel of a breast OR
  • A change in the look or feel of the nipple OR
  • Nipple discharge
  • View a full list of warning signs via Susan G. Komen

 

Self Examinations

Performing a breast self exam, in combination with other screenings, can increase the odds of early detection. A breast self exam is a convenient, no-cost tool that can be done at any age. Find out the five steps to perform a breast self exam here. A physical exam can also be done by a healthcare provider, often during your regular medical check up. Don’t panic if you do find a lump. There are a number of possible causes of non-cancerous breast lumps, including hormonal changes, a benign breast condition or injury. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor to double check.  

At Texas Emergency Care Centers, it’s our goal to keep our community healthy.  Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Don’t let the threat of COVID-19 keep you from early detection. Time is critical. We need our mamas now more than ever.