Breast Cancer Awareness

breast cancer awarenessIn October, we celebrate breast cancer awareness. According to U.S. breast cancer statistics, over 12 percent of women (about 1 in every 8) will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. That’s pretty significant! While breast cancer is not unique to women, women are more prone to the disease.

In order to determine early symptoms, women can perform monthly breast self-examinations (BSE). Here’s how.

  1. Try to schedule these at a consistent time of the month so you work them into your regular routine. For example, you might do them on the first day of every month to help form a habit.
  2. Do a visual exam. Stand in front of a mirror and look for any irregularities in the shape of the breast. Also, look at the skin for any noticeable dimpling or swelling or changes in the nipples.
  3. Feel for lumps. You can do this in front of the mirror or in the shower by placing one hand behind your head and using the other hand to feel the breast in a circular motion (outside to in). Use the pads of your fingers (usually 3 fingers at once) to feel for any lumps or distortions. Feel into the armpit area. Then switch hands and check the other breast. You can also do this while lying down with one hand behind your head.

A breast self-examination is one of the easiest and most effective measures that women can take to increase their chance of detecting breast cancer early.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.