Can Nipple Piercing Cause Breast Cancer
Nipple piercings have become a popular trend. But theres currently no evidence that having pierced nipples increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
However, the area pierced is at risk of infection, at the time of the piercing and as long as you wear the jewellery, possibly even longer.
Never Ignore A Change In Your Breast
When it comes to signs of breast cancer, its all about noticing changes . The three most common signs are:
- A change in the look or feel of the breast
- A change in the look or feel of the nipple
- Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
In most cases, changes you or your partner notice are not cancer. But its always worth getting checked out anyway. In cases when a change in your breast is a sign of cancer, the sooner the cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better your chance of survival.
Here are some questions to help you know what changes to look for.
When To See Your Gp
See your GP if you have:
- a lump in your breast
- any other worrying symptoms, such as nipple discharge
- a history of breast cancer in members of your family and you’re worried about your chances of getting it
It’s very unlikely you have cancer, but it’s best to get your symptoms checked. Your GP will examine your breast and can refer you for tests and scans for breast cancer if needed.
If you do not have symptoms but have a clear family history of breast cancer, your GP may refer you to a genetic specialist to discuss your risk of getting it.
There are some inherited genes that increase your risk of cancer and a blood test can be done to check for these. Read about testing for cancer risk genes.
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Swelling In Or Around Your Breast Collarbone Or Armpit
Swelling in these areas can occur for many reasons but may indicate cancer. Breast swelling can be caused by certain types of breast cancer. Swelling or lumps around your collarbone or armpits can be caused by breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes in those areas. The swelling can occur even before you can feel a lump in your breast. If you have swelling, be sure to let your health care team know as soon as possible.
Myth : Nipple Discharge Is Usually A Sign Of Cancer
No, the opposite is true. Many women have leftover milk in their ducts after breastfeeding, or they have debris that can cause greenish or even black discharge that can be squeezed out of the ducts, Dr. Pederson says.
Whats more concerning is bloody or clear discharge that leaks out when youre not squeezing, she says. This type of discharge can be a sign of breast cancer about 10 percent of the time. Even with bloody nipple discharge, the cause is usually a benign condition inside the milk duct.
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Breast Cancer Symptoms: What You Need To Know
Finding breast cancer early usually makes it easier to treat. Along with getting regular screening mammograms, being aware of how your breasts look and feel is an important part of early detection. Some breast cancer signs are detected best by mammogram. Other signs may be more eaily seen as changes in how the breasts look or feel.
It is important to know that not all changes in the breasts are cancer. Benign breast conditions are much more common than breast cancer. But it is important to let your health care team know about any changes in your breast so they can be looked into.
Below are some common breast symptoms that should be checked right away.
How Can I Maximize Nipple Sensitivity Or Sensation
At various times of the month, like when you have your period, for example, your nipples might be more sensitive. So if the sensation isn’t a painful one, you might take advantage of your increased responsiveness during this time of the month, says Richmond.
If you’re trying out nip play with a partner, have them stroke or twist your nipples to your liking. Then have them bring their mouth into ita little rolling of their tongue and sucking around your areola and nips can feel ah-mazing. Like a little nibbling? Have them go for it.
If all that stimulation still isn’t quite enough to bring you to the brink, you may want to bring in some toys. Start with a toy you already have, like a trusty vibrator. Your best bet is to use one that packs a serious punch , since some nipples need more stimulation than the clitoris to achieve orgasm.
If you want to work with a nipple-specific toy, Boyajian recommends nipple suckers, which “create sucking pressure around the nipple and areola, much like what a person’s mouth would feel like.”
Or, if you want even more pressure, you can try nipple clamps. They might sound a bit intimidating, like BDSM-esque, but they’re actually pretty low-key. They work by cutting off circulation to the nipples, so that when you release the clamp, the rush of blood creates a wave of pleasure.
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Can Chemicals In The Environment Cause Breast Cancer
Theres no conclusive evidence that exposure to chemicals in the environment increases your risk of breast cancer.
Lots of studies have looked at the relationship between breast cancer and chemicals in the environment such as pesticides, traffic fumes and plastics, but theres no clear evidence of any links.
It can be very difficult to work out the effects of individual chemicals when we are exposed to low levels of thousands of chemicals during our lifetime.
Some studies have suggested that women who are exposed to chemicals in their jobs, for example in the manufacturing industry, may be at higher risk of breast cancer. But the evidence is weak and more research is needed. Employers are legally required to limit exposure to chemicals that may cause cancer.
Things You Really Shouldn’t Be Doing To Your Breasts
Just when we thought we’d heard it all, Kim Kardashian knocked us flat with the announcement that she duct tapes her breasts. Here’s the scoop on this and four other indignities you should spare your girls.
Kim Kardashian never disappoints. Just when we thought wed heard it all, the star knocks us flat with the announcement that she duct tapes her breasts to ensure fabulous red-carpet cleavage. Um, not a good idea,” says dermatologist Bruce Katz, MD, Director of the JUVA Skin & Laser Center in New York City. Here, the downside of that DIY boob uplift, plus four other indignities you shouldn’t subject your girls to.
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Are There Any Risks Associated With Nipple Piercings
A piercing punctures your skin, poking a hole in your immune systems first line of defense. Wherever you get one, there will be risks. If you plan to get a nipple piercing, Jaliman says infection , bruising, and irritation are all possibilities.
To avoid infection, since that is, by far, the most common issue: Make sure the the tools used to pierce your nipples are completely sterile, Jaliman stresses. The area should be cleaned with a skin disinfectant or alcohol before you get started.
If you have a metal allergylooking at you, nickelbe sure the piercer uses stainless steel or better. After that, itâs up to you to take good care of your piercing.
Symptoms Of Breast Cancer That Arent A Lump
Lumps get most of the attention when you think about the symptoms of breast cancer. Youve probably heard that you should check your breasts regularly and be on the lookout for new or unusual bumps you can’t remember being there before. If you do find one, don’t panicsome women’s breasts happen to be lumpy without it being a sign of cancer. But if it’s a new lump, feels different from other lumps, or you just want some reassurance, its a good idea to get it looked at by a doctor.
But there are other breast cancer signs you should know, too. Its not uncommon for breast cancer to present itself as something other than a lump, Jack Jacoub, M.D., a medical oncologist and medical director of MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., tells SELF, estimating that anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of breast cancers he’s seen don’t involve one. While the most common symptom of breast cancer is still a new bump or mass, according to the American Cancer Society, here are a few others that should be on your radar, too.
If you find something off with your boobs, the odds are pretty high that its something thats completely unrelated to cancer. Its important to put everything into context, Dr. Jacoub says. Still, its a good idea to get new and unusual breast symptoms checked out, just in case.
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I Found A Lump In My Breast What Should I Do
Maybe it happened in the shower. Or during an intimate moment with your partner. You could have been putting on lotion before bed. And there it isa breast lump. Finding one is understandably anxiety-provoking for women.
But before you jump to conclusions, stop and breathe.
Although the most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass, many breast lumps are either benign or a symptom of a condition unrelated to cancer. So how do you tell the difference, and will it disappear on its own?
David Eddleman, MD, medical director of breast surgery at REX Breast Care Specialists, explains what to do if you find a lump.
Myth : Breast Cancer Doesnt Cause Pain
Thats not entirely true. Fast-growing breast cancers can be painful. Breast pain in one particular spot, especially in older women, is a warning sign.
Most women experience general breast pain or soreness that comes and goes, Dr. Pederson says. Thats not a sign of cancer, but usually due to hormone fluctuations or too much caffeine.
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What Do Breast Lumps Feel Like
How breast lumps feel depends on their cause, location, and growth. They can vary from painful, hard, and immobile to soft, painless, and easily moveable.
Lumps are most likely to be cancerous if they do not cause pain and are hard, unevenly shaped, and immobile.
Other breast lumps can feel different:
- Fibroadenoma lumps tend to be painless, easily movable, smooth, and rounded. They may disappear on their own.
- Breast cysts are smooth but firm.
- Breast abscesses and mastitis usually cause painful, swollen lumps, and there may also be a fever and flushing around the affected skin.
What About Other Types Of Nipple Discharge
Nipple discharge can be alarming to many women. But discharge that occurs only when the nipple and breast are squeezed may not be a cause for concern. The risk of cancer when nipple discharge is the only symptom is fairly low.
A lump with the discharge will be of primary concern to your healthcare provider. But keep in mind that breastfeeding women may experience a lump under the areola, and a discharge. This can be caused by lactational mastitis that occurs with a pus-filled infection .
Galactorrhea is a milky discharge from both nipples, when a woman is not breastfeeding. This is often due to an increase in the hormone prolactin, which produces milk. Galactorrhea may occur if you take sedatives or marijuana. Or it can be caused by high doses of estrogen. Women who have this often have irregular menstrual periods. Or their periods have stopped. In some cases, galactorrhea may be caused by a pituitary gland tumor. Your healthcare provider may order blood tests and an MRI if he or she thinks you have this.
Nipple discharge that is due to a benign noncancer breast condition may be treated by keeping the nipple clean, among other treatments. Nipple discharge that occurs because of infection may require hospitalization.
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A Lump In Your Breast
A lump or mass in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer. Lumps are often hard and painless, although some are painful. However, not all lumps are cancer. Benign breast conditions that can also cause lumps.
Still, its important to have your doctor check out any new lump or mass right away. If it does turn out to be cancer, the sooner its diagnosed the better.
Is It Worth It To Get Breast Implants
Most women find it a major step, and it often results in positive results. Breast implants have been shown to boost self-esteem, body image, and sexual satisfaction in studies. However, studies have also shown that women should be screened carefully by doctors and self-aware before breast implant surgery, as well.
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How To Feel For Changes
Using the following steps, a person can feel for changes such as lumps, thickening, or pain:
Carry out the same routine while lying down, allowing the breast tissue to rest evenly against the chest wall.
Do Mobile Phones Cause Breast Cancer
Theres no evidence that radiation from mobile phones has any effect on your risk of developing breast cancer.
Some people worry that radio waves produced and received by mobile phones may be a health risk, especially if they keep their phone in their breast pocket.
However, theres currently no evidence that radio waves from mobile phones cause breast cancer or increase the risk of developing it.
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Breast Exam By Your Doctor
The same guidelines for self-exams provided above are true for breast exams done by your doctor or other healthcare professional. They wont hurt you, and your doctor may do a breast exam during your annual visit.
If youre having symptoms that concern you, its a good idea to have your doctor do a breast exam. During the exam, your doctor will check both of your breasts for abnormal spots or signs of breast cancer.
Your doctor may also check other parts of your body to see if the symptoms youre having could be related to another condition.
What Might Cause Normal Nipple Discharge
Some causes of normal nipple discharge include:
- Pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, some women notice clear breast discharge coming from their nipples. In the later stages of pregnancy, this discharge may take on a watery, milky appearance.
- Stopping breastfeeding. Even after you have stopped nursing your baby, you may notice that a milk-like breast discharge persists for a while.
- Stimulation. Nipples may secrete fluid when they are stimulated or squeezed. Normal nipple discharge may also occur when your nipples are repeatedly chafed by your bra or during vigorous physical exercise, such as jogging.
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What If My Nipples Aren’t That Sensitive
That’s a totally real possibility, says Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in Westchester, New York, and assistant clinical professor at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. “Women have different levels of nipple sensitivity based on many factors,” she says.
The first is pretty simple: genetics. Sometimes your nipples just can’t be as easily stimulated as someone else’s. In other cases, the nerves on your nipples might have been affected by breast surgery, such as an augmentation, reduction, lift, lumpectomy, biopsy, or other upper-body procedures.
And sometimes, psychological or emotional trauma, including sexual abuse and breast cancer, could interfere with nipple sensitivity. That’s okayno shame, ever.
Parents Must Communicate Concerns To Doctors
Regardless of how rare Hannahs cancer is, some doctors said the case illustrates the need for parents to communicate their concerns to doctors and for doctors to take into account any potential health threats, however unusual.
What bears emphasizing is that: a) this is incredibly rare, and teenagers need not worry about this happening to them and b) physicians need to be aware that, while rare, this can happen, so that new lumps should be taken seriously, said Dr. George Sledge, professor of Medicine and Pathology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and editor-in-chief of the journal Clinical Breast Cancer.
Lichtenfeld agreed. Hannahs case, which thankfully appears to be having an excellent outcome, is extremely unusual and should not be cause for undue alarm, he said. As with any health issue, parents who are concerned about any seemingly unusual physical change should talk to their familys health care professional.
Likewise, Hannah told KCAL that she hopes her experience will help other children like her keep open lines of communication with their parents when it comes to health issues.
I want to set an example for all the kids in the world, that if theres something wrong with your body, you tell your parents, she said.
Michelle Schlief and the ABC News Medical Unit contributed to this report.
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How Is Breast Cancer In Children Treated
The treatment for cancer of the breast in children varies and will depend on the tumor or type of cancer.
Children with benign fibroadenomas dont usually need treatment. Instead, theyll be carefully monitored for changes that might indicate concern, such as changes in size or characteristics of a mass. In many cases, the fibroadenomas will disappear without any treatment at all.
Children with malignant breast cancer will need treatment. Theyll receive care from a pediatric oncology team.
Treatments normally include:
- radiation therapy to target and kill the cancer cells and stop the growth of new cancer cells
- surgery to remove the tumor
New therapies, including targeted drug therapies to attack cancer cells without harming other cells in the body, are an option. Treatment will also depend on the childs overall health and whether other cancers are present.
The pediatric oncology team will help develop the appropriate plan for each child.