Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hello, this is Dr. Yi Zhang, Medical Director at Haven Elite Urgent Care. This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Although this is the month for awareness, checking yourself for signs and symptoms at home should be done regularly. In this blog, I’d like to provide you with some information you may not already know about breast cancer.  

Why is Breast Cancer so important in October?


Also known as the “Pink Month”, October is where charities worldwide link together to bring forth efforts of education, knowledge, and awareness of breast cancer. This will explain why you see people wearing pink this month, along with the pink ribbons. 

pink shade colored arm and hands with pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness


Why is Breast Cancer important for me?


Breast cancer affects all women of all backgrounds. Although you may not have a family history of breast cancer, you should always practice self-exams at home to identify any new changes in your breast. If you do have a history of breast cancer in your family, notify your family doctor during your next visit. Your doctor will be able to discuss a plan with you for prevention, management, and early detection if possible. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms?


Signs and symptoms of breast cancer can vary by patient. However, below are some symptoms that you can look out for during your own at-home exam. 

various symptom icons to check for breast cancer

  • Lump in your breast or underarm. 
  • Swelling of your breast 
  • Irritation of breast skin 
  • Redness or flaky skin on your breast 
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk) which includes blood 
  • Changes in size or shape of breast 
  • Pain in any area of your breast 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment to see your primary care physician for further evaluation. 

A few facts about Breast Cancer: 

  1. Although breast cancer can occur in men, it is 100 times more likely in women. 
  2. Most women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of breast cancer. However, having a relative such as your mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer almost doubles a woman’s risk. 
  3. Most breast cancers are found in women 55 years or older. 
  4. Exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer for women of different body types. It is also beneficial to survivors. 
  5. With new treatment plans available and early detection, the 5-year relative survival rate for women with breast cancer is about 90 percent.

With some of these helpful tips, I am hoping you will become more knowledgeable for yourself and your loved ones. We as women know our bodies. If you think you are having signs and symptoms, speak with your primary doctor to schedule an appointment for an evaluation. For any urgent medical condition come visit our urgent care clinic.

For more information on facts about Breast Cancer listed above, please visit the City of Hope’s Here are 31 facts about breast cancer.

“The best protection, is early detection”