Almost 1 in 8 women in America will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Most breast cancers are slow-growing, but there are types that are aggressive, which is why early detection is essential. Regular screenings are the best way to detect breast cancer in its early stages. The most common screenings are mammograms and doctor-performed clinical breast exams.
An initial baseline screening is generally done at the age of 35 and yearly mammograms are recommended as a routine screen for women over the age of 40. Please call for an appointment if you notice any breast lumps, bleeding from the nipples, or breast pain. In addition, we perform breast exams during your annual exam/pap smear. We can also treat breast problems such as fibrocystic breasts, breast infections, and nipple discharge as needed.
It is recommended women examine their breasts monthly, usually about a week after her menstrual period, to identify any changes or abnormalities such as a lump, swelling, irritation or pain. Breast self-exams are not officially recommended as a screening tool for breast cancer because their success in detecting early-stage cancers and increasing the survival rate have not been proven. But, by becoming familiar with the way her breasts normally look and feel, a woman may recognize changes indicating an abnormality.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of symptoms that women commonly experience before their monthly menstrual period, usually going away after the period starts. About 85 percent of women suffer from at least one symptom of PMS during each menstrual cycle, although most cases are fairly mild and may not interfere with a woman's normal activities. Severe cases of PMS may be diagnosed as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
The specific cause of PMS is not known, but it is linked to the hormone changes involved in the menstrual cycle, and can also be affected by stress and emotional problems. While symptoms can vary for each woman, some of the common symptoms of PMS include:
- Breast swelling and tenderness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Joint or muscle pain
- Appetite changes
Women who suspect that they have a severe case of PMS and are seeking medical attention for their condition should monitor symptoms and their severity for a few months to help their doctor accurately diagnose the condition.
Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
There are many treatments currently available for PMS, many of which involve simple lifestyle changes. Some of these changes may include calcium supplements, exercising regularly, avoiding salty or sugary foods, managing stress and avoiding smoking. Over-the-count medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin are often effective in relieving the symptoms of PMS as well. Prescription medication may be prescribed for severe cases of PMS.