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According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, here are some common questions about breast cancer. 

If I have some symptoms, is it likely to be cancer?

Most often, symptoms are not due to cancer, but any breast cancer symptom you notice should be investigated as soon as it is discovered. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated.

If I have no symptoms, should I assume I do not have cancer?

Although there’s no need to worry, regular screenings are always important. Your doctor can check for breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms. During your office visit, your doctor will ask about your personal and family medical history and perform a physical examination. In addition, your doctor may order one or more imaging tests, such as a mammogram.

Can I Rely On Breast Self-Exams Alone To Be Sure I Am Breast Cancer Free?

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Mammography can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is key for early detection. But when combined with regular medical care and appropriate guideline-recommended mammography, breast self-exams can help women know what is normal for them so they can report any changes to their healthcare provider.

If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic — 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous. For additional peace of mind, call your doctor whenever you have concerns.

What type of doctor should I see if I think I have breast cancer?

According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, if you think you have breast cancer, you should talk to your primary care physician or OB/GYN. A number of doctors may play a role in your breast cancer treatment. The following is a list of doctors who may be involved in your care:

  • Medical oncologist: A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy
  • Surgical oncologist: A doctor who uses surgery to diagnose, stage and treat cancer and manage certain cancer-related symptoms, and who may perform biopsies and other surgical procedures such as removing a lump or a breast
  • Radiation oncologist: A physician trained in cancer treatment using radiation to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells

For more info on treatments available, visit the Cancer Treatment Centers of America website

To schedule a breast exam at Planned Parenthood Great Plains, call 1-800-230-PLAN or visit our website. We are also offering telehealth services to reduce in-person visits to better protect our patients and staff during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Read more about self exams in our first Breast Cancer Awareness blog.

Read more about symptoms and signs in our second Breast Cancer Awareness blog.


Additional Resources:

Planned Parenthood Breast Cancer Screenings

National Breast Cancer Foundation, INC.

American Cancer Society


Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Tags: breast_cancer