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Skin check

Your Role in Cancer Prevention

The thought of having cancer may be frightening, but ignoring the possibility or avoiding the process to detect cancer can be dangerous. 

Since cancer can’t always be prevented, early detection of problems provides the greatest possibility of successful treatment. That’s why it’s so important to engage in preventive care for common cancers. 

Breast Cancer: 3-Step Plan for Preventive Care

Step 1. Breast Self-Awareness

Women should be familiar with how their breasts look and feel, and regularly monitor for changes. Changes to look for may include:

  • Development of a lump
  • Discharge (other than breast milk)
  • Swelling of the breast
  • Skin irritation or dimpling
  • Nipple abnormalities (such as pain, redness, scaliness, turning inward)

If you notice any of these changes, see your health care provider as soon as possible.

Step 2. Clinical Examination
A breast examination by your physician should be part of a woman’s physical examination. Talk with your provider to determine your individual risk factors and a screening schedule that is appropriate for you.

Step 3. Mammography
Mammography is a low-dose X-ray of the breasts to find changes that may occur. Mammography can detect cancer or other problems before a lump becomes large enough to be felt.

Your provider is your partner and will help facilitate regular screenings as part of your ongoing health management. When combined with self-awareness and familiarity with what is normal for your body, you’ll have the best chance of identifying and treating cancer in its early stages.

Check It Yourself: Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is also one of the most preventable types of cancer. Reduce your risk of skin cancer by limiting or avoiding exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Check your skin often, and make note of changes to coloration, itching, pain, or tenderness. Discuss any changes or concerns with your doctor. Early detection of skin cancer gives you the greatest chance for successful skin cancer treatment.

Dr. Kathleen A. Holoyda is a board eligible plastic surgeon offering skin restoration after trauma to improve bodily function and help improve appearance and self-esteem. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 530.543.5799 or visit BartonHealth.org/PlasticSurgery