Breast Cancer Care Plan ~ Health Guide

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Breast Cancer Care Plan

Written by Mystic on Monday, August 04, 2008

Ideally all women should have an individual breast care plan developed in consultation with their doctor. Many women find it convenient to discuss this at the same time as their regular Pap smear test [the screening test for cancer of the cervix].

What is a breast care plan?

You and your doctor need to discuss risk factors for breast cancer that may affect you. These include any family history of breast cancer or other types of cancer, and previous cancer and your behavioural and lifestyle factors.

You should be familiar with the feel and look of your breasts and what is normal for you so you will notice any changes. If you do notice any changes you need to see your doctor promptly. Most changes are not cancer but the prompt investigation of breast symptoms will mean that any cancer is found and treated early.

What am I looking for?

Your are looking for any changes in your breasts (see above). These may include a lump or thickening of the tissue, any sudden changes in breast size or shape, a rash, colour change, pain, a discharge from the nipple or turning in of the nipple.

What if I find something suspicious?

First of all, remember that most breast changes are not due to breast cancer. Breast changes can be due to inflammation and other non-cancerous [benign] changes. However, it is important to consult a doctor rather than ignore any changes that may be breast cancer.

What else can I do to guard against breast cancer?

Lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes:

* Eating more vegetables, fruit and wholegrain foods
* Reducing total fat intake, especially animal fats
* Limiting alcohol intake to two drinks a day
* Maintaining a healthy body weight
* Stopping smoking
* Increasing physical activity.


* Discuss with your doctor the value of a screening mammogram.
* Talk with your doctor about a breast care plan.
* Be aware of the usual look and feel of your breasts and report any changes promptly to your doctor.
* Early detection is the key to successful treatment.

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