Spotting early signs and symptoms of breast cancer is the best bet to fight with this life-changing disease. As of now, there are many women who aren’t well-aware of all signs and symptoms, but could have some idea about this disease (at least they have basic knowledge about breast cancer). Many of you must know the most common symptom of being affected with this disease is a lump on breast or around breast area but apart from this sign, there are many more signs that could tell you if you are having breast cancer or not.
These days, more than 60% women are getting affected with this disease and especially in US, however, the good news is that this can be treated if detected in time. So, whether you are a breast cancer patient or just want to keep a check on it, we are here to help you in finding out if you are affected with it or not. Prevention is always better than cure, so read on to explore more about its signs and symptoms to catch the cancer in its early stage and to treat it with the best treatment.
Some Physical Signs and Symptoms
Lump In The Breast
Lump in or around the breast is the most common and well-known symptom but you should always remember one thing that there is no standard kind of lump or mass. While some lumps are hard, some can be soft. Some women have masses or lumps with irregular shapes and some have rounded ones. Some breast cancers are painless, whereas others are tender to the touch. As the American Cancer Society explains, the key is to know your body and spot any new growth, regardless of its shape or texture is through regular check-up. The good news is that about 90 percent of lumps detected are not cancerous, so relax if you have found a mass in your breast.
Discharge From The Nipple(s)
If you happen to notice that your breasts are leaking or discharging, it is recommended not to take it lightly and if in case you are not breastfeeding, then this sign is a high alert (red flag).
There are several researches that have found that this may be an early warning sign of breast cancer, sometimes noticeable even before you actually find a mass you can detect. A bloodstained discharge from the nipple is also a symptom you should not ignore.
Before you worry, nipple discharge on its own is not an indication of breast cancer. It is one of many symptoms, so you should check for other signs or approach your doctor if you have concerns. There are multiple benign causes of nipple discharge including mastitis, duct ectasia, and intraductal papillomas, to name a few.
Swelling Of The Breast
Sometimes, breast cancer may only cause a swelling in the breast even without a lump being discernible. The swelling may be on a part of the breast or the entire breast could be swollen. The swelling could even be in your armpit or in the area surrounding the actual breast. This may also happen if breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit region.
Skin Thickening And Redness
If the skin of your breast starts to feel like an orange peel or gets red, have it checked right away. Often, these are caused by mastitis, a breast infection common among women who are breast feeding. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
If your symptoms don’t improve after a week, though, get checked again, because these symptoms can also be caused by inflammatory breast cancer. This form of breast cancer can look a lot like a breast infection, and because it grows quickly it’s important to diagnose it as soon as possible.
Most cases of breast cancer are found by women noticing unusual changes and visiting their doctor to get them checked. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chance of beating it – so it’s important to be breast aware. Being breast aware simply means knowing what your breasts look and feel like normally, being on the lookout for any unusual changes and getting them checked out by your doctor. No one knows your body better than you and everyone will have their own way of touching and looking for changes – there’s no special technique and you don’t need any training. It’s good to get into the habit of doing this regularly – maybe when you’re in the bath or shower, or while getting dressed in the morning. If you have any suggestions, do share with us!