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 easily 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.
What Are Common Cancer Pain Treatments
That depends on the source of your pain. For example, you can have pain from a tumor pressing on nerves or an organ wall. If thats your situation, your provider may use chemotherapy or radiation therapy to shrink the tumor. They may also do surgery to remove the tumor, eliminating the pain. Other treatments include medication to stop or reduce pain, medical procedures to block pain signals and neurological surgery techniques.
Neurological surgical techniques for cancer pain
Neurological surgery techniques may include:
- Pain pumps: A pain pump is a catheter placed in your lower spine that delivers pain medication directly to your spinal fluid. This treatment eases pain without causing some of the side effects, such as drowsiness or constipation, which may happen when you take oral or intravenous pain medication. Pain pumps may cause side effects such as itching or retaining pee .
- Stimulators: Some people may have nerve pain after surgery. In this situation, healthcare providers may use a stimulator. A stimulator is a small electrode thats placed on your peripheral nerve. The electrode carries an electrical current around your nerve, or spinal cord. Normally you feel pain because your nerves send messages to your brain that your brain interprets as pain. If you have a stimulator in place, the current from the electrode interrupts that messaging process. Instead of feeling pain, you may notice a tingling sensation or a sense of numbness.
Non-opioid pain medication
Is It A Bruise
Dr. Jones: It’s a bruise but it can be deep a bruise that you can’t see. So mostly if we, if someone comes in and says, “I’ve had breast tenderness for a couple of weeks,” then I examine both breasts, I’m feeling for masses, and then I’m trying to feel for anything around the area that’s tender, and if I don’t feel anything in a 24-year-old I usually schedule her to come back and see me in two weeks with hands off, everybody’s hands off their breast. So if there was a bump it gets a chance to heal.
Interviewer: That’s a really good rule.
Dr. Jones: It may not work that well at home but it sounds really great in the clinic. Second of all, most breast cancers don’t hurt most breast cancers are slow growing. So the things that make things hurt are infections.
Interviewer: So the lump itself doesn’t hurt?
Dr. Jones: No.
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Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
Most early-stage breast cancers in the U.S. are found with screening mammography, before any warning signs or symptoms appear.
However, breast cancer also is found when there are warning signs. So, its important to be aware of these warning signs and see a health care provider if you notice any breast changes.
Always Seek Medical Attention
The key point is that anybody should seek medical attention for any concerning lumps in their breasts, says Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, a breast oncologist with the Susan F. Smith Center.
Simple imaging techniques, such as a mammogram or breast ultrasound, can usually provide reassurance that the breast lump is benign. If necessary, a breast MRI or biopsy can be used to evaluate whether the lump is cancerous.
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My Breast Is Tender But I Don’t Feel A Lump Am I Normal
Many women who experience uncommon breast pain immediately think of breast cancer. Dr. Kirtly Jones says its probably something else. She explains what can cause breast pain in women of different ages and the most important thing to do if one or more of your breasts feels tender.
Interviewer: So your breasts are feeling kind of tender and they sort of hurt, is it a normal situation? We’re going to talk about that next on The Scope.
Announcer: Questions every woman wonders about her health, body, and mind. This is “Am I Normal?” on The Scope.
Interviewer: Dr. Jones the situation is I’m not breastfeeding but my breasts are kind of tender. They kind of hurt but they’ve been hurting from maybe two weeks now. There’s not really any lump on it that I can feel and I know there’s not a history of breast cancer in my family is this a normal situation?
Abcde Melanoma Detection Guide
A is for Asymmetry
Look for spots that lack symmetry. That is, if a line was drawn through the middle, the two sides would not match up.
B is for Border
A spot with a spreading or irregular edge .
C is for Colour
Blotchy spots with a number of colours such as black, blue, red, white and/or grey.
D is for Diameter
Look for spots that are getting bigger.
E is for Evolving
Spots that are changing and growing.
These are some changes to look out for when checking your skin for signs of any cancer:
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Why Do My Breasts Hurt
Breast pain is very common in women of all ages.
Having painful, sore or tender breasts can cause a lot of anxiety. But on its own, pain in the breasts isn’t usually a sign of breast cancer.
Many women experience breast pain as part of their normal menstrual cycle . This is called cyclical breast pain.
Lasting pain in the breast thats not related to periods is known as non-cyclical breast pain.
Sometimes pain that feels as though it’s in the breast is coming from somewhere else, such as a pulled muscle in the chest. This is known as chest wall pain.
Are You Having Breast Cancer Pain
Breast pain can be stressful and concerning, especially if you are not sure what is causing it. Breast pain occurs for most people at one point or another. Knowing more about it and when it may signal something serious can help you take an active role in your healthcare.
This article will explain times when breast cancer is painful, what it may be indicating, and whether you are at higher risk for breast disease.
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Common Causes Of Breast Lumps
Fibroadenomas. These are the most common benign lumps. If you push on them, they are solid, round, rubbery lumps that move freely. Theyre usually painless. Women between 20 and 30 get them most often. Theyre also more common in African-American women. Fibroadenomas can be surgically removed.
Fibrocystic changes. Changes in hormones during your menstrual cycles can create changes in your breasts. These are known as fibrocystic breast changes. You could get lumps in both breasts that increase in size and tenderness just before your period. You might have nipple discharge as well.
The lumps are milk ducts and tissues around them that have grown and widened to form cysts. These enlarge quickly in response to hormones released near your period. The lumps may be hard or rubbery and could feel like a single lump. Fibrocystic changes can also cause breast tissue to thicken.
These changes are often most noticeable during your 40s. Theyre the most common cause of benign breast lumps in women ages 35 to 50. Postmenopausal women are less likely to have these types of breast changes. Thats because they dont have monthly changes in hormones.
They dont require treatment, but your doctor may recommend ways to ease monthly tenderness.
Simple cysts. Simple cysts are fluid-filled sacs that usually affect both breasts. You could have one or many. They can vary in size. Their tenderness and size often change with your menstrual cycle.
Can Radial Scars Cause Breast Cancer
Though its uncommon, there are some painful breast conditions which may raise your risk. 15 Both radial scars and multiple or complex fibroadenomas increase your risk of breast cancer Many breast conditions which cause pain confer only a minimally increased risk of breast cancer, such as ductal ectasia, fat necrosis,
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Do Cancer Lumps Hurt To Touch
Bumps that are cancerous are typically large, hard, painless to the touch and appear spontaneously. The mass will grow in size steadily over the weeks and months. Cancerous lumps that can be felt from the outside of your body can appear in the breast, testicle, or neck, but also in the arms and legs.
If I Have Fibrocystic Breasts Should I Ask My Doctor About Other Types Of Screening
Sometimes mammograms of women with fibrocystic breast tissue may be more difficult to read and interpret. Many healthcare professionals recommend choosing a breast center that offers digital mammography. Digital mammograms allow the radiologist to change to contrast of light and dark and to enlarge areas of the breast tissue on the screen to more closely examine areas of concern.
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Can An Ultrasound Tell The Difference Between A Cyst And A Tumor
Ultrasound is also a good way to tell fluid-filled cysts from solid tumors because they make very different echo patterns. Its useful in some situations because it can usually be done quickly and doesnt expose people to radiation. Ultrasound images are not as detailed as those from CT or MRI scans.
What If The Lump Feels Like A Ridge What If I Have A Pea
You should have a familiarity with your body and what the breast normally feels like, including its normal shape, appearance, and texture. Generally, women are advised to analyze their breasts in the shower with soapy fingers to get a nice feel of the normal tissues. If you do that and have some familiarity with your normal breast tissue, and then find something different, you should reach out to your medical team.
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Early Signs Of Breast Cancer
- changes in the shape of the nipple
- breast pain that doesnt go away after your next period
- a new lump that doesnt go away after your next period
- nipple discharge from one breast thats clear, red, brown, or yellow
- unexplained redness, swelling, skin irritation, itchiness, or rash on the breast
- swelling or a lump around the collarbone or under the arm
A lump thats hard with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous.
Can Working Night Shifts Cause Breast Cancer
Although it was previously thought working night shifts may increase breast cancer risk, the latest research has found people who work night shifts are at no greater risk of breast cancer than those who dont.
This is the case regardless of the type of work and the age someone starts night shifts.
We offer free talks to workplaces and community groups by trained staff and volunteers. The talks cover topics such as the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, as well as dispelling common myths and misconceptions.
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Genetics And Family History
A genetic mutation is a permanent alteration in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene. The result is that one or more of the bodys processes may not work in the way they should.
There are a number of genetic mutations known to increase your risk of developing breast cancer. The most significant mutation identified is known as the BRCA2 mutation. Faulty genes are believed to be the cause of male breast cancer in around 1 or 2 in every 10 cases.
Theres also evidence that breast cancer can run in families, especially in men who have a first-degree relative who has developed breast cancer, such as a mother or sister.
Routine testing for the faulty genes that cause breast cancer in men isnt usually carried out on the NHS, unless specifically requested by a specialist. However, some private clinics may offer gene testing. Tests can be expensive, with prices ranging from around £2,000 to £3,000.
Pain Is The Bodys Warning System That Alerts Us That Something Is Not Right Here Are 5 Pains That Could Suggest A Serious Illness Is Underway
Doctors have a love-hate relationship with pain. It can be a precautionary friend or a debilitating foe. Pain can protect against injury by warning people to approach a hot burner, sharp knife or a steep step with caution. Or it can be an important diagnostic tool, a signal that an illness is underway. It can also give injuries time to heal. If you pull a muscle for instance, the body will remain guarded until the pain lessens. But pain can also linger on for months and years causing great suffering and disability, especially at the end of life.
Whatever the reason for pain, it should never be neglected because it speaks volumes. In particular, pain that lasts for more than two weeks, or intensifies over time, can signal something sinister is at work, such as cancer. Knowing what to pay attention to can convince you to go to the doctor sooner, when early diagnosis and treatment can do the most good.
About Cancer Pain
Cancer pain can correspond directly to the spot where the tumor is located, or a distance from the original source. The pain can occur as soon as the tumor begins growing, or long after treatments end.
The quality and quantity of cancer pain also depends on how much room there is for the tumor to expand. So if a tumor is hemmed in the brain, pain might be experienced sooner than tumors in the belly, where it has more space to grow and spread.
Here are 5 pains that should never be ignored.
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Bone Thinning Bone And Joint Pain
A group of estrogen-blocking breast cancer drugs called aromatase inhibitors may turn your bones more brittle. That may cause bone and joint pain.
Certain types of chemotherapy can also cause bone thinning. If you arenât already in menopause, it may start prematurely.
Breast cancer itself can cause pain if it spreads to your bones. A specialized radiation treatment called radiotherapy can sometimes help. Ask your doctor about other treatment options like pain medications.
What To Do If You Have A Breast Change
If you have concern over a change in your breast, dont rely on information that may be inaccurate or that may not take into account that there are exceptions to almost every rule in medicine. Listen to your body. Find a physician who carefully listens to your concerns, if you are not heard, find another.
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Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
Common symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump in your breast or underarm that doesnât go away. This is often the first symptom of breast cancer. Your doctor can usually see a lump on a mammogram long before you can see or feel it.
- Swelling in your armpit or near your collarbone. This could mean breast cancer has spread to lymph nodes in that area. Swelling may start before you feel a lump, so let your doctor know if you notice it.
- Pain and tenderness, although lumps donât usually hurt. Some may cause a prickly feeling.
- A flat or indented area on your breast. This could happen because of a tumor that you canât see or feel.
- Breast changes such as a difference in the size, contour, texture, or temperature of your breast.
- Changes in your nipple, like one that:
Is It Okay To Wear Push
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Whether or not it is okay to wear push-up bras every day is a personal decision. Some people find them to be comfortable and feel that they help to improve their appearance. Others find them to be uncomfortable and prefer not to wear them on a daily basis. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to wear push-up bras every day is up to the individual.
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When To See A Doctor
In most cases, a doctor should determine the cause of pitting edema and, if necessary, refer a person to a specialist.
Some accompanying symptoms require urgent care. Anyone experiencing shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or swelling in a single limb should seek immediate medical attention.
When leg pain and swelling persist after a person has been sitting for several hours, this may indicate deep vein thrombosis. This occurs when a blood clot develops deep in the leg. Anyone who suspects this should seek urgent medical care.