The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. During the month of October, the Virginia Department of Health would like to highlight the importance of regular screenings and early detection.
Mammograms are the most effective method in detecting lumps and changes in the breast before they can be felt. Women, especially those over the age of 40, should have discussions with their health care provider about how often screenings should be conducted. Breast self-exams, when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, can help alert women to any changes that should be examined by a health care professional.
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
Initially, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. A lump may be too small to feel or to cause any noticeable changes. As it grows, however, it can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels.
Symptoms may include—
These changes also can be signs of other conditions but it is important to get any breast changes checked out promptly by a doctor. The Every Women’s Life Program (EWL) at the Virginia Department of Health provides low-income, uninsured and underinsured women access to timely, high-quality screening and diagnostic services to detect breast and cervical cancer at the earliest stages. Find out if you qualify.