Standing Tall Against Breast Cancer

Denise L. Johnson Miller, M.D.
Medical Director for Breast Surgery
Jersey Shore University Medical Center

Early detection remains one of the single most effective tools in the fight against breast cancer. Armed with the right amount of information, vigilance and awareness, women of today can be properly equipped to stand tall -- and win the fight -- against the dreaded disease.

"A breast cancer diagnosis can be scary, but it's not a death sentence," says Denise L. Johnson Miller, M.D., Medical Director for Breast Surgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. "Don't be afraid to be aggressive."

Dr. Johnson Miller emphasizes the following as points every woman should remember:

Be Informed

"Know your family's history. Get a complete picture of breast cancer among women in your family. Know when they were diagnosed and if the cancer ended their lives. Don't be afraid to offend. This is the information that could save your life," she says.

Be Responsible

Take an active role in your own health. Self exams, mammography, screenings and seeking out imaging centers with the most up-to-date technology are things every woman can do to stay ahead of the disease, according to Dr. Johnson Miller. 

Be Aggressive

Don’t be afraid to ask your primary care physician tough questions. And if you’re not satisfied with the answers, seek out a second opinion. Don't try to be "polite," she says.

Be Aware

"Body awareness: Know what you breasts look like, and pay attention to any new or unusual changes - masses, discharge, etc. If you notice something out of the ordinary, see your primary care physician immediately," says Dr. Johnson Miller.