You Cant Face The Stream In The Shower
Does wearing a bra suddenly irritate your nipples? Are your breasts so painful that you have to face away from the stream of water in the shower? Have your breasts become so sensitive that you dont like your partner to touch them anymore? Breasts or nipples that become more sensitive than normal can be a sign of cancer, Dr. Ross says.
Breast sensitivity is often tied to hormone changes, which is why many women experience breast tenderness as part of PMS and its one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. However, some types of breast cancer can affect your hormones, giving you a similar feeling, she explains.
So if your breasts are suddenly way more sensitive than normal and its not around that time of the month and youre not pregnant, give your doctor a call, she says.
How Does Cancer In The Breast Usually Feel
A cancerous hard lump in the breast may feel like a lemon seed or a pit. Normally, the lump wont move as you feel your breast. Also, lumps caused by breast cancer normally do not change in size or disappear during your menstrual period.
Its not possible to know whether a lump in the breast is cancerous just by feeling it. If you find a lump in your breast tissue, notify your doctor. You may need to undergo a mammogram or other diagnostic testing to determine if the lump is cancerous.
You Have A Zit That Wont Heal
Didnt know that you can get zits on your breasts? Its true. Its not uncommon to get small sores, including pimples and even warts, on your breasts or nipples, Dr. Ross says. For women who work out, you may find them in places you sweat heavily, like between your breasts, or along the line of your sports bra where sweat can get trapped and clog your pores.
Most zits will go away on their own with time and good hygiene. But if youve got a small sore of any type that doesnt go away after a week or two, its worth it to get it checked out. Having sores or bruises that wont heal can be an early sign of cancer, she explains.
Read Also: When Is Breast Cancer In Remission
Breast Lumps Or Lumpiness
Many women find their breasts feel lumpy. Breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture.
Some women have more lumpiness in their breasts than others. In most cases, this lumpiness is no cause to worry.
If the lumpiness can be felt throughout the breast and feels like your other breast, then its likely normal breast tissue.
Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast or that feel like a change should be checked. This type of lump may be a sign of breast cancer or a benign breast condition, such as a cyst or fibroadenoma.
See a health care provider if you:
- Find a new lump that feels different from the rest of your breast
- Find a new lump that feels different from your other breast
- Feel something thats different from what you felt before
If youve had a benign lump in the past, dont assume a new lump will also be benign. The new lump may not be breast cancer, but its best to make sure.
Other Changes In The Breast
Many factors can cause the breasts to change, including medications, hormones, and weight gain or loss. Breast changes, especially those without apparent explanation, may indicate breast cancer, such as the following .
- A sudden increase in breast tissue, especially on one side of the breast
- Breast pain or itching
- A change in the sensation of the breasts
Don’t Miss: Does Breast Cancer Qualify For Disability
Breast Or Nipple Pain
Breast cancer can cause changes in skin cells that lead to feelings of pain, tenderness, and discomfort in the breast. If a lump is present, it is not painful.
Although breast cancer is often painless, it is important not to ignore any signs or symptoms that could be due to breast cancer.
may be a sign of breast cancer.
Although changes in the size of the breast can be a symptom of any type of breast cancer, the National Cancer Institute states that a rapid increase in breast size could be an indication of inflammatory breast cancer. This is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer.
If someone notices that either or both of their breasts have increased in size, they should consider contacting a doctor.
Living With Breast Cancer
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can affect daily life in many ways, depending on what stage it’s at and what treatment you’re having.
How women cope with their diagnosis and treatment varies from person to person. You can be reassured that there are several forms of support available, if you need it. For example:
- your family and friends can be a powerful support system
- you can communicate with other people in the same situation
- find out as much as possible about your condition
- don’t try to do too much or overexert yourself
- make time for yourself
Read more about breast screening
How Can You Tell If A Rash Is Serious
If you have a rash and notice any of the following symptoms, see a board-certified dermatologist or go to the emergency room immediately:The rash is all over your body. You have a fever with the rash. The rash is sudden and spreads rapidly. The rash begins to blister. The rash is painful. The rash is infected.
Changes To The Skins Texture
Breast cancer can cause changes and inflammation in skin cells that can lead to texture changes. Examples of these texture changes include scaly skin around the nipple and areola, as though the skin is sunburned or extremely dry, and skin thickening in any part of the breast.
These changes may also cause itching, which people often associate with breast cancer, although it is not common.
These skin changes may be symptomatic of a breast cancer type called Pagets disease.
Texture changes can also occur as a result of benign skin conditions, including dermatitis and eczema.
You May Like: What Is The History Of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Most breast cancer symptoms are discovered by women during regular dailyactivities like bathing. Knowing how your breasts look and feel, andbeing alert for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, like a lump,can help you detect the disease early, when it’s easiest to treat.
Most breast changes are due to hormonal cycles or conditions that are less worrying than breast cancer. However, if you experience any of the following breast cancer symptoms, even if they seem mild, see your doctor.
- A lump in the breast or armpit is the most common symptom of breast cancer. Patients often describe this as a ball or a nodule. Lumps may feel soft and rubbery or hard. Unless you have small breasts or the lump is very large, you probably wont be able to see it.
- Nipple changes, including the nipple turning inward, pulling to one side or changing direction
- Ulcer on the breast or nipple
- Thickening of the skin, resulting in an orange-peel texture
Though rare, men can also get breast cancer. The most common symptoms of male breast cancer are a lump, discharge or dimpling.
Changes In The Nipple
A male’s nipples should not suddenly change, especially if he has not recently suffered an injury or has no nipple piercings .
As a result, a person should pay attention to changes such as the following:
- A puckered or distorted nipple
- Any discharge of colour or volume from the nipple
- An inward turn of the nipple
- Nipples that grow in size become lopsided or suddenly appear different from one another
- Changes in the colour of the nipples
- The nipple may be painful, itchy, or scaling
- A sudden breast milk production
You May Like: What Does Lump Feel Like In Breast Cancer
What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer originates in your breast tissue. It occurs when breast cells mutate and grow out of control, creating a mass of tissue . Like other cancers, breast cancer can invade and grow into the tissue surrounding your breast. It can also travel to other parts of your body and form new tumors. When this happens, its called metastasis.
What Can I Expect If I Have Breast Cancer
If youve been diagnosed with breast cancer, your healthcare provider will talk with you in detail about your treatment options. Treatment and recovery will be different for everyone, so they can tell you what to expect in your situation.
Is breast cancer fatal?
People with early-stage breast cancer often manage their condition successfully with treatment. In fact, many people whove received a breast cancer diagnosis go on to live long, fulfilling lives. Late-stage breast cancer is more difficult to treat, however, and can be fatal.
What is the survival rate for breast cancer?
The overall five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 90%. This means that 90% of people diagnosed with the disease are still alive five years later. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer that has spread to nearby areas is 86%, while the five-year survival rate for metastatic breast cancer is 28%. Fortunately, the survival rates for breast cancer are improving as we learn more about the disease and develop new and better approaches to management.
Keep in mind that survival rates are only estimates. They cant predict the success of treatment or tell you how long youll live. If you have specific questions about breast cancer survival rates, talk to your healthcare provider.
Also Check: Stage 1 Breast Cancer Survival Rates
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:
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting breast cancer. However, having any of these doesnt mean you will definitely develop the disease.
Some risk factors cant be avoided, such as family history. You can change other risk factors, such as smoking. Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Age. Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women over 55 years old.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder raises your risk.
- Having dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes mammograms hard to read. It also increases your risk of breast cancer.
- Gender. According to the
While there are risk factors you cant control, following a healthy lifestyle, getting regular screenings, and taking any preventive measures your doctor recommends can help lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Do If You Have Breast Cancer
Symptoms Of Angiosarcoma Of The Breast
Another rare form of breast cancer, angiosarcoma forms inside the lymph and blood vessels. Only a biopsy may definitively diagnose this type of cancer. Angiosarcoma can cause changes to the skin of your breast, such as the development of purple-colored nodules that resemble a bruise. These nodules, if bumped or scratched, may bleed. Over time, these discolored areas may expand, making your skin appear swollen in that area. You may or may not have breast lumps with angiosarcoma. If you also have lymphedema, which is swelling caused by a buildup of lymphatic fluid, angiosarcoma may occur in the affected arm. Cancer treatment sometimes damages the lymph vessels, which may lead to lymphedema.
The Presence Of A Lump Or Mass In The Breast
Breast cancer may manifest as a painless mass in the breast. Breast cancer can cause pain, but most people do not notice a lump that is not painful. Breast cancer lumps are also hard and do not move around in the breast tissue. Furthermore, breast cancer lumps can come in many sizes and shapes .
Breast masses are more likely to be cancerous if found in one breast, but it is possible to develop the illness in both breasts. Therefore, a physician should check all breast lumps.
Don’t Miss: Patient Education For Breast Cancer
Other Types Of Breast Cancer
Other less common types of breast cancer include invasive lobular breast cancer, which develops in the cells that line the milk-producing lobules, inflammatory breast cancer and Paget’s disease of the breast.
It’s possible for breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph nodes or the bloodstream. If this happens, it’s known as ‘secondary’ or ‘metastatic’ breast cancer.
Can Breast Cancer Be Prevented
You may be able to help prevent breast cancer by making healthy lifestyle changes such as:
- Staying at a healthy weight
- Limiting alcohol use
- Limiting your exposure to estrogen by
- Breastfeeding your babies if you can
- Limiting hormone therapy
If you are at high risk, your health care provider may suggest that you take certain medicines to lower the risk. Some women at very high risk may decide to get a mastectomy to prevent breast cancer.
It’s also important to get regular mammograms. They may be able to identify breast cancer in the early stages, when it is easier to treat.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
Don’t Miss: Breast Cancer Spread To Ribs Symptoms
What Causes A Rash On The Breast
Breast Rash: Inflammatory Breast Cancer vs. Breast Infection. If you have red, swollen breasts, its a sign that something is wrong. Two things that can cause these symptoms are inflammatory breast cancer and a breast infection. Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. IBC accounts for 1 to 5 percent of all
The Breast Cancer Centers At Ctca
At the Breast Cancer Centers at each of our CTCA® hospitals, located across the nation, our cancer experts are devoted to a single missiontreating breast cancer patients with compassion and precision. Each patients care team is led by a medical oncologist and coordinated by a registered oncology nurse, who helps track the various appointments, follow up on tests and answer questions that come up along the way. Your care team also may include a breast surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist, pathologist and a plastic/reconstructive surgeon with advanced training in helping patients restore function and appearance. Fertility preservation and genetic testing are also available for qualifying patients who need them.
Our pathologists and oncologists are experienced and trained in tools designed to diagnose, stage and treat different types of breast cancer, from early-stage ductal carcinoma in situ to complex diseases such as triple-negative and inflammatory breast cancer. As part of our patient-centered care model, which is designed to help you keep strong during treatment, your multidisciplinary care team may recommend various evidence-informed supportive therapies, such as naturopathic support, psychosocial support, nutritional support, physical and occupational therapy and pain management. The entire team works together with a whole-person focus, which is at the heart of our centers dedication to personalized and comprehensive care.
Read Also: Breast Cancer How To Check
Breast Changes Dont Always Mean Breast Cancer But Being Proactive Is Key
Breast changes are often a normal part of a womans monthly cycle, but its important to be aware of the changes your breasts go through each month. Closely monitoring your breasts will help you be able to tell the difference between whats normal for your body and changes that may be cause for concern. Take control of your breast health and dont hesitate to contact your doctor or Siteman if you have concerns and would like to be screened.
Finding A Health Care Provider
If you dont have a health care provider, one of the best ways to find a good one is to get a referral from a trusted family member or friend.
You can also call your local health department or a nearby hospital or clinic. If you have insurance, your insurance company may also have a list of health care providers in your area.
Don’t Miss: Can You See Breast Cancer From The Outside
Pagets Disease Of The Breast
This is a rare skin condition that is sometimes a sign of an underlying breast cancer. The symptoms are a red, scaly rash on the nipple and surrounding area. This can be itchy and looks a bit like eczema. It is sometimes mistaken for eczema at first.
See your doctor if you have any changes in the skin of your breast.
Effects On Different Races And Ethnicities
In general, young women and Black women have a higher chance of being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer than older women and women of other races or ethnicities. The American Cancer Societyâs Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2019-2020 reports that of all breast cancers diagnosed in Black women, about 21% are triple-negative. In comparison, only 10% of breast cancer diagnosed in non-Hispanic white women and Asian/Pacific Islanders is triple-negative, and only 12% of breast cancer diagnosed in American Indian/Alaska Native women and Hispanic women is triple-negative.
Though Black women have the highest chance of being diagnosed with triple-negative disease compared to women of other races, the rate of triple-negative diagnosis in Black women is still lower than diagnosis of other breast cancers. Like women from all racial and ethnic groups, Black women are most often diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Of breast cancers diagnosed in Black women, 61% are hormone receptor-positive.
Also Check: How Do You Know If You Have Breast Cancer