October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! During this time we raise awareness for the risk factors, symptoms, and treatments of breast cancer, and we recognize and support those that have breast cancer or are survivors! Here at Good Samaritan we are dedicated to helping our patients maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of breast cancer and assist them in gaining access to care if needed.
With the help of private foundations such as the Big Canoe Women's Guild and Georgia Baptist Healthcare Foundation and in partnership with the Northside's Financial Assistance Program we are able to assist uninsured patients with referrals for further diagnostic testing and treatment. One such patient came to Good Samaritan for a routine check up. During her appointment Lois Bryant, FNP discovered a lump on one of her breasts. Good Samaritan was able to help her with funding for an appointment for further testing and it was discovered that she had an aggressive form of cancer in both breasts. After a double mastectomy and treatments this patient is now cancer free! She says "God and Mrs. Lois saved my life!"
Women should get a mammogram (an x-ray of the breast used for diagnosing breast cancer) starting at the age of 40. Women ages 45-55 should get a mammogram every year. Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. Some warning signs of breast cancer are—
- 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 any area of the breast.
If you have any questions about your risk factors, or if you have any symptoms listed above, please speak to your primary healthcare physician.