October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, “[a]fter skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.” As more research has been conducted over time, breast cancer awareness has grown, and funding has increased for advances in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Because of this, breast cancer survival rates have also increased due to earlier detection and a better understanding of the disease. Read on to learn more about breast cancer

Breast cancer is caused by the out-of-control growth of breast cells. As the number of cells increases, they develop into a mass that results in cancer. There are several types of breast cancer; the type that develops depends on the location of the cancer cells (e.g. ducts, tissue, lobes). Breast cancer that spreads to another part of the body is termed metastatic cancer.

There are medical recommendations about routine screenings to assess breast health and monitor for breast cancer; they vary depending on factors such as age and health history. Medical screenings are done via mammograms, x-rays of the breast, used to find breast cancer early in its development. They are important because finding breast cancer early increases the chance of longest life. Other tests include ultrasounds or clinical breast exams completed in a healthcare setting and self-exams for personal awareness of any changes that might be cause for concern from healthcare providers.

While the early stages of breast cancer may not have signs, some signs or symptoms can manifest as a breast cancer mass grows. Signs or symptoms that might be present include a lump in the breast or underarm area, a change in breast size or shape, redness of the skin or nipple, and others. If these or other signs are present, it is advisable to visit a healthcare provider for further assessment. The provider will order further testing if deemed necessary at that time. If cancer is detected, it can be treated in most cases. Common breast cancer treatments can include one or a combination of several different actions, the most commonly known being surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises the following: “Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You can’t change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health….” Maintaining good health decreases risk and improves survival chances should one ever receive a breast cancer diagnosis.

Your overall health and wellness is a vital component of disease prevention. The wellness of your healthcare practice is similarly important. Quick Claimers Medical Billing understands the importance of focused patient care and is committed to helping healthcare providers give their full attention to their patients, by providing effective medical coding and billing solutions. Contact Quick Claimers online, or call them at 915-351-6600, to discuss your needs.

Written by: Erika Mehlhaff