October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Lake Regional Oncologist Maggi Coplin, M.D., is leading a virtual health talk on the importance of early detection for beating breast cancer at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28.
According to the American Cancer Society, finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the art cancer treatments are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Dr. Coplin’s talk can be accessed for free online at facebook.com/LakeRegional.
“I always encourage women to learn the warning signs of breast cancer because it is easier to treat when it is found early,” Dr. Coplin said. “If you have a family history of breast cancer, speak with your provider about genetic testing or counseling, which are available at Lake Regional. Regardless of your family history, you should also speak with your provider about scheduling a breast cancer screening.”
Be on the lookout for the following symptoms of breast cancer. If you have any signs that worry you, call your doctor right away.
- New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit)
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
- Pain in the breast
Breast cancer screening checks a woman’s breasts for cancer before she has any symptoms.
“Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is advanced enough to cause symptoms,” Dr. Coplin said. “Lake Regional Imaging Center provides 3-D mammograms, which are the most effective tool for diagnosing breast cancer.”
The American Cancer Society provides the following breast cancer screening guidelines.
- Women between the ages of 40 and 44 should learn the risks and benefits of mammograms for breast cancer screening and make a choice about whether to be screened. Earlier screenings may be appropriate based on family history of breast cancer.
- Women aged 45 to 54 should get a mammogram every year.
- Women 55 and older should switch to a mammogram every two years, or have the choice to continue annual screening.
- Women should continue to receive screening mammograms as long as their overall health is good and they have a life expectancy of 10 years or longer.
“Once a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, our Lake Regional Oncology team will treat patients in a comprehensive approach to care that is close to home,” said TJ Sweet, Cancer Service Line director at Lake Regional. “Dr. Coplin has a real passion and expertise in treating Breast Cancer patients. She keeps current with the latest approach to breast cancer treatment with improved outcomes and survival.”
Lake Regional Cancer Center is nationally accredited from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The center offers state-of-the-art therapies that find and treat multiple forms of cancer, including breast cancer. Learn more about Lake Regional Cancer Center and cancer treatments at lakeregional.com/cancercare.