Doctor discusses signs, misconceptions about breast cancer

Self-awareness can play large role in dealing with breast cancer
Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 8:44 PM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a quarter of a million people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year

Doctors say it is important to be self-aware and to be able to evaluate yourself.

“Normal women have lumps in their breasts and have dense breast tissue,” said Dr. Brittney Brown, with Hattiesburg Clinic. “It’s really just important for you to know what your breasts feel like and what they look like. That way you can come and let us know if something new or abnormal pops up.”

Brown said she wants patients to keep an eye out for other symptoms.

“A lump or a bump that wasn’t previously there or if you have changes in the lumps that are there,” Brown said. “If you have changes in the nipples, such as retraction of the nipple, or if you’re having discharge from the nipple, especially if it’s bloody discharge. That’s a red flag and a warning for us to look into.”

For women turning 40 in 2023, it is time to be checked on a more frequent basis.

“We do start mammogram screening at the age of 40, and we recommend annual mammograms from 40 on,” said Brown.

While many are concerned about mammograms, Brown says another common misconception concerns the mammogram itself.

“It’s not fun, but it’s not painful and it’s not anything that’s going to negatively impact you moving forward,” Brown said. “But it can absolutely save your life.”

Ultimately, doctors want patients to be breast-aware moving into the new year, so cases are caught early.

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