Breast Self-Awareness                

Susan G. Komen’s breast self-awareness messages encourage women and men to take control of their health. Not only do these messages focus on breast cancer awareness and early detection, but they also support overall mental and physical well-being.           

Message 1: Know your risk          

Risk factors do not cause breast cancer, but they can increase the chances of developing breast cancer.  There are many risk factors linked to breast cancer.  Some of these risk factors can increase your risk more than other risk factors.  The cause of breast cancer is still unknown. To better understand your risk, you can do the following:

  • Talk to both sides of your family to learn about your family health history
  • Talk to a doctor about your risk of breast cancer

Message 2: Get screened

Knowing your risk and talking with your doctor can help you determine the best screening method for you. If you are at higher risk for developing breast cancer, ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you.

For women at average risk, speak with you doctor about yearly clinical breast exams and mammograms starting at 40.

A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast.  It is the best tool we have today for finding breast cancer early.  It can find breast cancer when it is small and easier to treat.

Clinical Breast Exam
A clinical breast exam is done by your doctor or nurse in an office or clinic.  He or she will look at and feel your breasts and under your arms to look for signs of breast cancer. Breast cancer warning signs may be seen or felt but not visible on a mammogram.

Message 3: Know what is normal for you

Warning Signs of Breast Cancer

The most common warning signs of breast cancer are changes in the look or feel of the breast, also a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge. Warning signs you should be aware of are listed include:

If you are experiencing any of these warning signs, please contact your health care provider. 

Breast lumps or lumpiness

Some women may have breast that are more lumpy than others.  Breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture. Eight out of 10 lumps are non-cancerous.

Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast (or the other breast) or that feel like a change are a concern. If you are unsure whether you should have a lump checked, it is best to see your healthcare provider.

Message 4: Make healthy lifestyle choices 

You can do things that are good for your health and might lower your risk of getting breast cancer. Healthy lifestyle choices include:

For more information about breast health/breast cancer or local resources, please contact us at 704-347-8181 or at

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