Every woman needs to know and understand her risk of breast cancer as this could be the key to managing this risk and staying healthy. The best way to learn about this disease and understand your risks is to talk to a qualified physician. Here are some key questions to ask your doctor that can help you care for your breasts better.
- What is breast cancer? You might have a rough idea of what is the condition as you could learn from web that it is a malignant tumor that develops from the cells of the breast. Still, a medical explanation will make things clearer. It is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States and in most cases, curable when detected early.
- What are my risk factors for this breast condition? To understand this, you have to discuss your family history with your doctor. Genes are a risk factor and about 5% to 10% of breast cancers are believed to be hereditary.
- What prevention and screening plan is the most appropriate one for me? You need to know when you have to start getting a mammogram. The average age for screening recommended by the American Cancer Society (ACS) is 45. However, this depends on your health status and family history, and if you have a genetic risk, screening may have to start earlier.
- What lifestyle changes should I bring about to reduce my risks of breast cancer? Your doctor will ask you about your present lifestyle and if necessary, suggest changes to make in your diet, habits and activities to improve breast health.
- Do I need further tests to manage my risks? If the clinical exam reveals genetic or other risks, ask whether you would need any further tests or to see other specialists. If you don’t get a clean chit, further analysis is important.
- What are the early signs of breast cancer? Understand the early signs of cancer and how to detect them in your breasts. A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm areas, change in the size or shape of the breast, discharge from the nipple, change in the color or feel of the skin all are among the common signs.
- What are the treatments available? Knowing about the treatment options would keep you prepared to face the challenge if your fortune changes in the future.
Attending awareness programs, lectures and campaigns would also help you learn more about the disease and how to improve your general health, which will also benefit your breasts.