First, let’s review some breast cancer information and facts. The breast is comprised of lobes and lobules that are connected by ducts. Throughout the tissue blood and lymph vessels carry fluids as well. The lymph vessels carry lymph fluid to the nodes that connect to a network that runs through the body. Cancer can occur in parts of the tissue and be spread through this system to other parts of the body. Though breast cancer has a high survival rate, early detection is key.
Symptoms of breast cancer include;
* Nipple that is turned inward
* Fluid (other than milk) leaking
* Swollen or scaly skin
* Change in size
* Lumps in or near the breast (including under the arm)
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer that is diagnosed in pregnant women. It occurs in approximately one in 3,000 pregnancies. Women between the ages of 32 and 38 are at a higher risk. It is also possible to be diagnosed right after giving birth.
The changes during pregnancy and nursing that occur within the breast make detection difficult. A traditional self-exam may not be sufficient making the need for regular exams by a Doctor to be included in prenatal care. Abnormalities can be followed up with tests such as; MRI, mammogram, ultrasound, blood work, and biopsy.