breast self-check

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Johns Hopkins OB/GYN Francisco Rojas, M.D., discusses various types of breast lumps and what you can do about them.

Q: How common are lumps in the breast?
Breast lumps are common, particularly in young women in their late teens and early 20s. Women also may feel a breast lump during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Lumps in older women tend to be less common but more dangerous.

Q: What causes breast lumps?
Most breast lumps are benign or “normal;” however, breast lumps also can be caused by cancer. We cannot always explain what causes benign breast lumps.

Q: What are the different types of breast lumps?
Fibroadenomas are benign masses in the breast. They are not cancer and will not become cancer. They occur most often in younger women but also can happen in later years. Cysts are fluid-filled lumps that may cause pain and are usually benign. Other tumors are less common, can be benign or malignant and should be removed. The important thing to remember is that breast cancer also can present as a lump.

Q: What should you do if you detect a lump?
Any change in the breast should be evaluated by your physician or provider. Your provider will need to know when you noticed the lump and if it has changed in any way; also tell your provider about any changes in the skin or nipple discharge and if you notice any other lumps or changes in the breast or armpit. Tests such as an ultrasound, mammogram or MRI may be ordered.

Q: How are breast lumps treated?
Treatment is determined by the type of breast lump. Most often, a biopsy of the lump will be needed to determine the type. Fibroadenomas can be watched over time for changes. Cysts can be drained with a needle to remove fluid. Other tumors and breast cancer must be removed by a surgeon.

Q: Is there anything you can do to prevent breast lumps?
You may not be able to prevent breast lumps, but for your breast and overall health it is important to eat a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables. Do not smoke, and consume alcohol only in moderation. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Perform self-breast exams once a month and have breasts examined annually by a medical provider. Report any changes in your breasts to your provider as soon as you notice them.

Q: Who is at the greatest risk for developing breast lumps?
Anyone can develop a lump, but people who have a prior personal history of breast cancer or family history of breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing a malignant tumor.

Dr. Francisco Rojas is a Johns Hopkins OB/GYN.

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Saturday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Ask A Master Gardener. Discuss gardening questions and concerns at the Glenwood Branch. University of Maryland Extension – Howard County Master Gardeners. Also offered at the Miller Branch Saturday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Aug. 18 7 – 8:30 p.m. No registration required.

Saturday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m. Compost Demonstrations. Master Gardeners discuss and demonstrate composting on a drop-in basis at the Miller Branch. Free bins provided for Howard County residents. University of Maryland Extension – Howard County Master Gardeners. No registration required.

Saturday, Aug. 16, 11 a.m. Crop Swap. Do you have an abundance of vegetables from your garden? Let’s crop swap! Bring homegrown produce to trade for something new and delicious at the Miller Branch. Share growing tips and favorite varieties. Families welcome. Leftovers donated to the Howard County Food Bank. Set up from 11 – 11:30 a.m., swap from 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

Saturday, Aug. 16, 3 p.m. Kindergarten, Here We Come. The Central Branch will have stories and activities to help mark that all important first day, including boarding a real school bus. For children entering Kindergarten this fall; 45- 60 min. Cosponsored by Friends of Howard County Library and Howard County Public School System. Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.7880. Another is offered on Aug. 19 at 10:15 a.m. at the Savage Branch and again at 7 p.m., and also at 2 p.m. at the East Columbia Branch. Offered again on Aug. 20 at 10:15 a.m. at the Savage Branch and at the East Columbia Branch at 7 p.m. And offered Aug. 21 at 10:15 a.m. at the Savage Branch.

Monday, Aug. 18,  Blood Pressure Screening at Glenwood Branch – a Well & Wise Event. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Also offered, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 1 - 3 p.m. 

Monday, Aug. 18, 2 p.m. Infectious Diseases. Learn about infectious diseases, how they are spread, and how disease detectives work to find and stop their spread using medical technology and nanotechnology at the Savage Branch. Participate in mock disease outbreaks around the globe to learn to identify and handle some of the most dangerous diseases, select the right medical or nanotechnology methods, and develop a communication pack to let others know. Being an Infectious Disease Detective has never been more fun! Ages 11-18. HiTech is funded in part by a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from The Institute of Museum and Library Services. Visit hclibrary.org/hitech_events. Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.0760. Offered again on Aug. 19 at 2 p.m. , Aug. 20 at 2 p.m., Aug. 21 at 2 p.m., and Aug. 22 at 2 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 25, 7 p.m. I’m Going to be a Big Brother or Sister. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. A Well & Wise class. Come to the Central Branch to prepare for the arrival of a baby in this class for new siblings. Enjoy stories, activities, and bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to practice holding your baby. Resources for parents, too. Families; 30 – 45 min. Ticket required. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15 minutes before class.

Tuesday, Aug. 26, 5 – 6:30 p.m. Weight Loss Through Bariatric Surgery in the Howard County General Wellness Center. Learn about weight loss surgery from Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery. Register online or call 410-550-5669.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Sept. 16 to Nov. 6, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Healthy Weight Connection. Kick-start individual lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, to help you reach a healthier weight. Receive personalized guidance from a certified dietitian. Various nutrition topics and gentle yoga. Class held in the Howard County General Wellness Center. Cost is $195. Register online or call 410-740-7601.


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Prostate-specific antigen or “PSA” is a blood test that screens for the level of a protein in the blood that can indicate prostate cancer. For many years, it has been the only screening tool for prostate cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 30 million PSA screenings are done every year, and about 1.5 million of the screenings are found to be abnormal. Of the one million men who undergo a biopsy due to an abnormal PSA test, 250,000 are diagnosed with prostate cancer. This means that three out of four men with an increased PSA are found to be negative for cancer after having a biopsy.

The American Urology Association (AUA) released its new clinical guidelines on prostate cancer screening in 2013, creating a stir of questions by patients. The panel decided that, from a public health perspective, the current strategy of PSA-based screening that measures the level of enzyme in the prostate provided high rates of over-diagnosis, needless biopsies and over-treatment.

“We still believe the PSA test is the standard,” said Dr. Alan Partin, M.D., Ph.D., chairman, professor and urologist-in-chief of the Department of Urology and the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “However, in the past, when an elevated PSA was found and the biopsy was negative, we would routinely biopsy again. Today, due in part to research Johns Hopkins participated in, we can offer two new tests: the Prostate Health Index (PHI) blood test and PCA3 urine test. As these tests become more widely available, urologists will be able to follow those 750,000 men each year and avoid performing some additional biopsies.”

Marc Applestein, M.D., a urologist on staff at HCGH, notes, “These new tests will offer men new options. PHI testing will be more widely available soon and, at present, neither the PHI nor the PCA3 tests are covered by insurance. There is still debate and a lack of consensus about recommendations for men about screening. Men should discuss their family history and when to start PSA testing as well as what new testing options are available with their urologist.”


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calendar_2014smTuesday, August 12, 7:00 p.m. Movin’ Up to Middle School. Starting sixth grade? Meet new classmates, discuss the big move, and learn the secrets to success at the Elkridge Branch. Compete in a book bag relay and combination lock time-trial! Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.5088. Also available August 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Miller Branch.

Wednesday, August 13, 4:00 p.m. Kindergarten, Here We Come. The Glenwood Branch will have stories and activities to help mark that all important first day, including boarding a real school bus. For children entering Kindergarten this fall; 45- 60 min. Cosponsored by Friends of Howard County Library and Howard County Public School System. Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.5579. Offered again at 7:00 p.m. and on Thursday, August 14, 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Glenwood Branch, and August 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the Elkridge Branch. Also offered August 16 at 3:00 p.m. at the Central Branch.

Saturday, August 16, 11:00 a.m. Crop Swap. Do you have an abundance of vegetables from your garden? Let’s crop swap! Bring homegrown produce to trade for something new and delicious at the Miller Branch. Share growing tips and favorite varieties. Families welcome. Leftovers donated to the Howard County Food Bank. Set up from 11 – 11:30 am, swap from 11:30 am – 12 pm. Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

Monday, August 18, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. SAT Prep. The SAT is the most widely used college admission exam. Take advantage of our SAT Math Prep course specifically designed to help students excel on the math portion of the test. Students will take an official practice exam to simulate the experience, learn test-taking strategies, and solve problems related to algebra, geometry, and probability. Grades 9-12 only. Graphing calculators are recommended. HiTech is funded in part by a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from The Institute of Museum and Library Services. Registration is required. Register online or by calling 410.313.0760.

 Blood Pressure Screening at Glenwood Branch – a Well & Wise Event. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Also offered, Tuesday, August 12, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Elkridge Branch. No registration required.


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September 13, 2-6:00 p.m. HCGH Farmers’ Market. Join us every Friday for the HCGH Farmers Market. Keep your family healthy with fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, eggs, meat and other farm products grown and produced on local Howard County Farms. New vendors this year include Misty Meadows Milk and a jewelry vendor once a month. Market is at the rear of Visitor Lot C at HCGH.

September 13, 8:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. Living With Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist. Choose a day program or a condensed evening program. Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

September 13-20, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.

September 14, 10:00 a.m. Ask A Master Gardener. Discuss gardening questions and concerns at the Miller Branch. April through September. Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (except holiday weekends). University of Maryland Extension – Howard County Master Gardeners. Offered again 9/16, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. No registration required.

September 16, 10- 11:30 a.m. Medicare 101: What You Can Expect From Medicare. Are you currently on Medicare or soon will be? Do you provide care to someone covered by Medicare? This presentation will review Original Medicare (Part A Hospital and Part B Medical) and Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). Learn what is covered, your costs, how Medicare works, and available benefit programs. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on Aging. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 16, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. What’s the Sense?: The Five Senses. Explore the five senses and how we use them at Miller Branch. Ages 3-5; 30 min. Multi-week series. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

September 16, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at the Glenwood Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. A Well & Wise event. No registration required.

September 17 – 19, 10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. All Together Now classes now available at HCLS Savage Branch Express. For more information or to register call 410.880.5975 or register online.

September 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m. It’s not Breast Cancer, but What is It? Finding a lump in your breast can raise anxiety in all women. Learn from our experts about common conditions such as fibrocystic disease, fibroadenomas, hyperplasias and more. What are they, what do they mean and what are the options for treatment? Presented by Lisa Jacobs, M.D. Light refreshments will be served. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 18, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

September 17, 7:00 p.m. Introduction to Chen-style Tai Chi. Tai Chi Chuan, a Chinese martial art developed more than 300 years ago, has been described as meditation in motion. Learn about the Chen family style of Tai Chi at the Miller Branch. Presented by certified Tai Chi instructor Chuck Cabrera. A Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

September 18, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Living With Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist. Choose a day program or a condensed evening program. Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program.  The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000

September 18, 7 p.m. Food for Thought Book Discussion: Mediterranean Cooking. Borrow a cookbook from HCLS, prepare a few recipes at home, and discuss your experiences at Glenwood Branch. Light refreshments provided. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

September 20, 10:30 a.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m.- noon. (Saturday group is on hiatus for the summer). FREE. Registration is required.  Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 21, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Essentials in Babysitting. $50. Teens 11-14 will learn to manage children, create a safe environment, and apply basic emergency techniques. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 21, 10:30 a.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m.- noon. (Saturday group is on hiatus for the summer). FREE. Registration is required.  Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 22, 10 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. CUTS Against Cancer- Annual Haircut-a-thon benefitting the Howard County General Hospital Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center.  Lobbies of the Medical Pavilion at Howard County, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 23, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult, Child  & Infant CPR and AED. $55. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 24, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Quilting Support Group for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Join us on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month to learn quilting and hand piecing techniques and to for time to work on projects. Free. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

September 24 or September 26. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Prenatal Exercise Taught by a Certified Instructor. Physician permission required. Eight-week session beginning Tuesdays on 9/24, 6:30–7:30 p.m. or Thursdays on 9/26, 6:30–7:30 p.m. $88/eight sessions. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 26, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Smoke-Free Lungs. Education and support for those wanting to quit or who have quit. Attend one or all sessions. 9/26, 10/17 or 11/14. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

September 26, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Living with Breast Cancer Support Group. This group facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C for patients with a stage IV cancer diagnosis meets each fourth Thursday of the month. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.

September 28, 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. “Adults: Navigating to Better Health” Health Fair. Participate in essential screenings including total cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and body mass index. Receive information on heart disease and diabetes prevention as well as healthy lifestyle demonstrations, healthy food and gifts that promote good health. Free. At the Mall in Columbia (The Columbia Mall).

September 30, 10-11:30 a.m. Medicare 102: Why Medicare Isn’t Enough. Learn about Medicare Advantage/Health Plans (Part C) and Medicare Supplement Policies (Medigap). What should you consider when deciding which Medicare choices are right for you? Understand how plans vary, your costs, and when is the best time to enroll. Learn how to protect yourself and Medicare from healthcare fraud. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on Aging. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.

 


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July Tuesdays, 10-11:00 a.m. Summer Yoga for Patients, Caregivers and Survivors. This class will meet Tuesdays through August 27th. Registration required. Call 410.964.9100 for more information.

July , 2-6:00 p.m. HCGH Farmers’ Market. Join us for the HCGH Farmers Market. Keep your family healthy with fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, eggs, meat and other farm products grown and produced on local Howard County Farms. New vendors this year include Misty Meadows Milk and a jewelry vendor once a month. Market is at the rear of Visitor Lot C at HCGH.

July 13, 2:00 p.m. African Experience Tour. An instructor from the African Art Museum of Maryland teaches about African art and culture at the Elkridge Branch. Learn about various objects, then try your hand at using them. Families; allow 90 min to 2 hours. No registration required.

July 15, 10:15 & 11:30 a.m. Just for Me. A class at the Central Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. Offered 7/16 at 10:30 a.m. at the Glenwood Branch;  register online or by calling 410.313.5579. Offered 7/17 at 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. at the Elkridge Branch; no registration required. Offered again on 7/19 at 10:15 & 11:15 a.m. at the East Columbia Branch; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

July 15, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at the Glenwood Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 1st & 3rd Mondays; a Well & Wise event. No registration required.

July 15, 4:00 p.m. Epidemic: Infectious Diseases (Session A). LCome to the East Columbia Branch to learn about infectious diseases, how they are spread, and how disease detectives work to find and stop their spread using medical technology and nanotechnology. Participate in mock disease outbreaks around the globe to learn to identify and handle some of the most dangerous diseases, select the right medical or nanotechnology methods, and develop a communication pack to let others know. Being an Infectious Disease Detective has never been more fun!Ages 11-18. Please only register for one session.(Session A) Monday, July 15; Tuesday, July 16; Wednesday, July 17. HiTech is supported in part by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and IMLS. Visit hclibrary.org/hitech_events. Register online or by calling 410.313.7700.

July 16, 11:00 a.m. Hawaiian Journey. Aloha! Start at the East Columbia Branch, and “journey” through the Hawaiian Islands as we explore legends and culture, and dance a little hula! Ages 7-11; 60 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

July 16, 6:00 p.m. Take a Walk on the Wild Side. Celebrate the wonder of the great outdoors with a hike, some surprise visitors, and s’mores! Ages 6-10; 45 min. Refreshments. Register online or by calling 410.313.7880.

July 17, 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. We Dig Science. Explore science topics at the Miller Branch with stories, facts, and fun activities. Ages 4-6; 30 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

July 17, 3:00 p.m. The Maryland Harvest. Come to the Miller Branch to learn about Maryland’s farm-to-table movement. The Maryland Harvest, a documentary about Maryland farms and farmers and the chefs who love them, takes us on a gastronomic tour of farms throughout the state with talented area chefs. In partnership with Howard County Tourism & Promotion, Howard County Economic Development Authority, and University of Maryland Extension, Howard County. The Maryland Harvest screening is offered in conjunction with the Annual Film Festival at Clark’s Elioak Farm on July 16, Howard County’s Summer Farm to Table Restaurant Weeks, and Howard County Farmers Market on Wednesdays at Miller Branch. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

July 17, 7:00 p.m. Fall Vegetable Gardening. Plan ahead at the Glenwood Branch for your fall vegetable garden. Extend your growing season with a late planting of vegetables that thrive as the temperatures fall. Presented by Kent Phillips. University of Maryland Extension – Howard County Master Gardeners. Register online or by calling 410.313.5577.

July 17, 7:00 p.m. Science Club. Explore STEM concepts in this monthly class at the Miller Branch for science lovers. Ages 11-17. Register for each date separately. A teen Sci-Tech class. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

July 17, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. Facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C. Meets the third Wednesday of each month. Registration is required. Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information.

July 18, 2:00 p.m. Night Shift. When the sun sets, “night shift” animals come on duty! Join instructors from The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore at the Miller Branch to learn about special senses that allow these animals to navigate in the dark, then test your nocturnal sensory skills. Ages 6-12; 50 min. Space is limited. Ticket s available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.

July 19, 2-6:00 p.m. HCGH Farmers’ Market. Join us for the HCGH Farmers Market. Keep your family healthy with fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, eggs, meat and other farm products grown and produced on local Howard County Farms. New vendors this year include Misty Meadows Milk and a jewelry vendor once a month. Market is at the rear of Visitor Lot C at HCGH.

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