Breast can go through normal changes throughout a woman’s different stages of life. Changes can be seen for the first time during adolescence, explains Dr. Cristina Lopez-Penalver, Breast Surgeon with Miami Cancer Institute. The expert also talks about changes during menstrual periods and pregnancy. She also says women have different peaks of different hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
With a digital imaging, Dr. Cristina Lopez-Penalver, Breast Surgeon with Miami Cancer Institute, explains the breast is composed of three types of tissues: glandular tissue (produces breast milk), connective tissue and fat. Breast tissue varies depending upon a woman’s age, hormone status and genetics. Younger women have more dense and firmer breasts than older women.
Dr. Cristina Lopez-Penalver, Breast Surgeon with Miami Cancer Institute, considers it’s important for women to know about risk factors of breast cancer and the proactive ways in which they can reduce their risk of developing it. It’s essential to be informed about screenings for the early detection of the disease. These things are always important aspects of preventive health care. Nowadays there are over 3 million breast cancer survivors and it’s because of a combination of early screenings, early detection and improved and more effective treatments, the doctor says.
It’s important for women to perform breast self-exams and familiarize with the look and the feel of their breasts, because that will allow them to report anything that’s unusual or abnormal to their health provider, says Dr. Cristina Lopez-Penalver, Breast Surgeon with Miami Cancer Institute. The doctor describes physicians look for lumps in the breasts around the collarbone and under the armpit, changes in the size and the shape of one breast relative to the other, changes in the nipples and changes in the skin, which can be signs of breast cancer.
Mammogram is a test to visualize internal structures of the breast, explains Dr. Cristina Lopez-Penalver, Breast Surgeon with Miami Cancer Institute, who believes it’s important for women to avoid creams, deodorants or powders before the exam, because some of these contain metallic material or calcium and their deposits in the skin can appear as artifacts on the mammogram film. The best time to do a mammogram is the week after the period, because the hormonal levels are at their lowest and breasts are less sensitive, the doctor explains. She also advises taking an ibuprofen one hour before doing a test.