Signs and Symptoms

 Lump in the breast, which does not go away and may feel hard, irregular and different from the rest of the breast tissue. The lump may be tender but not painful. Lumps are found by the patient on self breast examinations, found by clinical breast examinations and are often found by annual screening mammography machines.

·             Lump in the armpit, which is caused by enlarged lymph nodes and usually means that the lymphatic system is fighting an infection in that area. It can also mean the breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
·             Nipple turns inward (inverted nipple), which is not normal for the person. Some nipples are always inverted.
·             Crusting, ulceration or eczema-type symptoms on the nipple, which could be a sign of Paget’s disease, a rare form of breast cancer.
·             Nipple discharge may be a sign of cancer if it occurs spontaneously and is blood stained. Many medical conditions can cause nipple discharge and it should always be reported to your doctor.
·             Changes in breast size, which can also be a change in the outline of the breast.
·             Changes in the skin of the breast, which can include any of the following:  dimpling or puckering of the skin, thickening and dimpling skin similar to an orange peel, redness, swelling and increased warmth in the affected breast, round areas that itch, distended veins on the breast in an irregular pattern.
 
If any of these signs or symptoms occur, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. It has been shown that patients who are diagnosed at early stages of breast cancer have a much higher survival rate than those who are diagnosed at later stages.
 

Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan

The Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control (CNCCC) Project assists in the development of networks and collaboration that produce an infrastructure for a comprehensive approach to cancer within the Cherokee Nation. Since 2003, coalition members and partners have come together to discuss the burden of cancer in Cherokee Nation. Coalition members and partners include local, regional, state and national representatives committed to identifying areas of cancer concern, planning interventions, prioritizing greatest areas of identified need, and then implementing identified strategies and/or providing needed resources. This is the second edition of the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and will serve, like the first, as an information resource for health care professionals and community members, as well as a tool for the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition and its respective entities. The coalition is committed to the process of enhancing infrastructure for comprehensive cancer control in the Cherokee Nation with the ultimate goal of reducing morbidity and mortality among the Cherokee community.