Everyone seems to know someone with breast cancer, and we wonder whether we, too, will be affected during our lifetime. All of us want to do everything we can to reduce the risk of ever getting the disease. Right now, though, we just don't know enough about what causes breast cancer and we haven't yet figured out how to keep it from happening—so we can't say that we can “prevent” it.
Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.
Here's what you should look for:
* Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color.
* Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling.
If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:
* Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin.
* A nipple that has changed position or become inverted (pushed inward instead of sticking out).
* Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling.