Know Your Lemons
If you are seeing a little more pink merchandise lately, it’s a reminder that October is National Breast Cancer awareness month – a tradition that dates back to 1985! One in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime and 42,000 women die from the disease every year.
It’s Not Just Lumps
Lumps in the breast or under the arm are a widely known sign of breast cancer. Less recognized are the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). IBC is rare, accounting for about 1% to 5% of all breast cancers.
IBC often does not cause a breast lump and may not be detected by regular mammograms. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as an infection. IBC tends to be more aggressive; growing and spreading much more quickly than more common breast cancers. By the time it’s diagnosed, the breast cancer cells have grown into the breast skin, making it at least a Stage III cancer.
Symptoms of IBC symptoms:
- Swelling (edema) of the skin of the breast
- Redness involving more than one-third of the breast
- Pitting or thickening of the skin of the breast so that it may look and feel like an orange peel
- A breast that may be tender, painful, or itchy
Click here to read more about these and other symptoms.
Know Your Lemons
Although breast self-exams are not a reliable way to detect breast cancer, experts agree that women should practice breast awareness – knowing the normal feel and look of their breasts. If you see any change in your breasts, don’t wait to contact your doctor!
Not sure what changes could look like? No worries – there’s an app for that! The non-profit Know Your Lemons Foundation’s free app will help you learn the 12 signs of breast cancer. The app uses a carton of lemons, each one depicting a different tell-tale symptom of breast cancer as part of its engaging breast cancer education program.
Self-awareness is not a substitute for recommended mammography screenings. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women at average risk have a screening mammography every 2 years beginning at age 40.
There are countless excuses for skipping a mammogram. But
as my high school English teacher said, “There is no such thing as a good excuse”!
Be sure to checkout Know Your Lemons in this edition of The Download for more about breast cancer!
- Hitting the Headlines: current healthcare news, including President Biden’s action on organ transplant network, COVID-19 vaccine cards and cancer drug shortage.
- Know Your Lemons: breast screening and cancer myths, Know Your Lemons app, and living longer with breast cancer.
- Going for Green: Court decision on Rx co-pay assistance, Social Security overpayment investigation and understanding health insurance subsidies.
- Bear In Mind: including my personal favorite, Chonky and they know it: Voting starts in Fat Bear Week!
Hitting the Headlines
Knowing Your Lemons
Going for Green
Bear In Mind
Enjoy the weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]