Breast Cancer Awareness Specialist

Understanding the signs and symptoms of cancer, scheduling regular mammograms, and performing self-breast exams are the building blocks for prevention, early detection, and successful treatment of breast cancer. The Board Certified team at Pali Women’s Health Center in Kailua and Kapolei, Hawaii, promotes breast cancer prevention and provides proactive breast cancer screening services.

Breast Cancer Awareness Q & A

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?

Many patients are diagnosed with breast cancer before ever experiencing unusual signs or symptoms. When symptoms do exist, they may include:

  • Nipple discharge, especially if it is present on a single side, appears without squeezing the nipple, and contains blood
  • A new lump in the breast or under the arm that lasts longer than 2-3 weeks or becomes larger
  • A change in nipple shape or a suddenly inverted nipple
  • Unexplained swelling, redness, itchiness, or rash on the breast
  • Puckering or dimpling skin on the breast

Patients who notice breast changes or suspect breast cancer should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to screen for cancer.

How often should breast self-exams be performed?

Breast self-exams (BSE) should be performed at least 1 time a month. It’s best to perform BSEs at the same time every month. For women who menstruate, the best time is upon conclusion of their menstrual cycle. For women who don’t menstruate, any day suffices as long as it consistent from 1 month to the next.

How often are mammograms required?

Mammograms are recommended once per year for women age 45 and older. In some cases, doctors may recommend a mammogram sooner. More specifically, doctors may recommend a mammogram when there is cause for concern or the patient is at increased risk of developing breast cancer.

What causes breast cancer?

Although risk factors have been identified, the causes of breast cancer remain unknown. Ongoing support of research is critical in identifying the causes of breast cancer so that treatments and means of prevention can be developed.

Who is at highest risk of developing breast cancer?

A myriad of factors may influence a woman’s probability of developing breast cancer, including:

  • Being a woman
  • Being over age 55
  • Having dense breast tissue
  • Having past history of breast cancer
  • History of menstruation before age 12 or menopause after 55
  • Never having given birth
  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Poor diet, inadequate exercise/physical activity, or current obesity
  • Frequent consumption of alcohol
  • History of chest exposure to radiation (especially if it occurred before age 30)
  • Having taken combined hormone replacement therapy

Despite this extensive list of risk factors, the majority of women who develop cancer have none of these risk factors, while others — perhaps with multiple risk factors — never develop cancer.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

We accept most insurances. Please call the office for any questions regarding insurance!

Deseret Mutual
Tricare West PPO

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