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What Are The Early Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

Three Early Signs Of Breast Cancer You Shouldnt Ignore

Early Signs of Breast Cancer


Breast cancer affects approximately one in eight women in their lifetime. But today, breast cancer is becoming more and more treatable especially when its caught early. There are a few signs and symptoms to watch out for. Thats why its so important to go for your regular checkups and mammograms, and to perform monthly breast self-exams at home.

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A change in your breast may be an early sign of breast cancer. Heres what to look for.

When people think about breast cancer detection, they usually think about finding a lump in one of their breasts. A lump is a possible sign of breast cancer, but it isnt the only one and it may not be the first sign to develop.

Breast cancer affects approximately one in eight women in their lifetime. But today, breast cancer is becoming more and more treatable especially when its caught early. There are a few signs and symptoms to watch out for. Thats why its so important to go for your regular checkups and mammograms, and to perform monthly breast self-exams at home.

Learn how to perform a breast self-exam at .

Early signs of breast cancer

While performing breast self-exams, keep an eye out for these early warning signs of breast cancer. If you notice any of these signs , make an appointment with your doctor right away.

1. Visible changes in the nipple or skin

2. Swelling

3. Nipple discharge

‘it Felt Like There Was A Marble In My Breast’

I had fibrous breasts, so even on a good day, my breasts felt like a bag of frozen peas. I had been receiving Bright Pinks Breast Health reminder texts to check my breasts, so I was pretty familiar with how my breasts felt. However one day I felt a lump in my left breast near my nipple, which seemed to be the size of a marble or gumball. This lump felt different. It was hard, but had a bit of a give to it.

“From the moment I felt the lump, I knew I had breast cancer. I went in that day for an appointment with my gynecologist, who ordered a mammogram for later that afternoon. After that, I had a core needle biopsy, but the tests all came back negative. I never felt relieved or satisfied with that result.

“At a later breast check, I felt the lump had grown, so I insisted my gynecologist help me find a surgeon to remove the lump. It was removed and I was told it was stage 2, aggressive triple negative breast cancer. I also discovered I was BRCA-1 positive, meaning I had the breast cancer gene. I cant stress it enough, listen to your body!

Erin Scheithe, DC Education Ambassador for Bright Pink, Washington, D.C.

What Are The Common Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

The following early signs and symptoms of breast cancer can happen with other conditions that are not cancer related.

  • New lump in the breast or underarm
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area of the breast
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

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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.

What Are Some General Signs And Symptoms Of Cancer

Early Symptoms Of Breast Cancer Stock Illustration ...

Most signs and symptoms are not caused by cancer but can be caused by other things. If you have any signs and symptoms that don’t go away or get worse, you should see a doctor to find out whats causing them. If cancer is not the cause, a doctor can help figure out what the cause is and treat it, if needed.

For instance, lymph nodes are part of the bodys immune system and help capture harmful substances in the body. Normal lymph nodes are tiny and can be hard to find. But when theres infection, inflammation, or cancer, the nodes can get larger. Those near the bodys surface can get big enough to feel with your fingers, and some can even be seen as swelling or a lump under the skin. One reason lymph nodes may swell is if cancer gets trapped there. So, if you have unusual swelling or a lump, you should see your doctor to figure out whats going on.

Here are some of the more common signs and symptoms that may be caused by cancer. However, any of these can be caused by other problems as well.

Sometimes, its possible to find cancer before you have symptoms. The American Cancer Society and other health groups recommend cancer-related check-ups and certain tests for people even though they have no symptoms. This helps find certain cancers early. You can find more information on early detection at the American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer.

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What Is A Normal Breast

No breast is typical. What is normal for you may not be normal for another woman. Most women say their breasts feel lumpy or uneven. The way your breasts look and feel can be affected by getting your period, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. Breasts also tend to change as you age. For more information, see the National Cancer Institutes Breast Changes and Conditions.external icon

What To Look Out For

Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but for many women it will appear asa lump or thickening in the breast tissue. This may be in the breast itself, upper chest or armpit.

You might find it easier to check yourself for lumps in the shower or bath and this will help ensure its something you do on a regular basis. Raise your arm above your head to stretch the breast tissue and using the palm of your hand feel around the breast, not forgetting your collar bone, and under your arm.

Check whether you can see any of the following:

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Common Types Of Breast Cancer

Lobular carcinoma in situ

Lobular carcinoma in situ refers to an area of abnormal cells confined to the milk-producing glands of the breast in females.

Because these cells do not spread to surrounding tissues, experts do not consider lobular carcinoma in situ to be a true cancer. However, it can increase the chances of developing other types of breast cancer.

This condition rarely causes symptoms. In some cases, tiny white specs of calcium called microcalcifications show up on a routine mammogram.

Invasive lobular carcinoma

This develops in the breasts lobules glands that can produce milk and invades nearby breast tissue.

In the early stages, invasive lobular carcinoma may not cause symptoms. Or, a person may experience:

  • thickening or hardening of breast tissue, rather than a distinct lump
  • an area of fullness or swelling in the breast
  • a change in the texture of the breasts skin
  • the nipple turning inward

Ductal carcinoma in situ

Ductal carcinoma in situ refers to an area of abnormal cells that are confined to one of the breasts milk ducts.

When a person receives this diagnosis, it means that the cells have not invaded surrounding breast tissue. However, having ductal carcinoma in situ can increase the risk of developing an invasive breast cancer later on.

This condition generally does not cause symptoms. Rarely, a person may notice a lump in the breast or some discharge from the nipple.

Invasive ductal carcinoma

People with this type of cancer may also experience:

How Is Breast Cancer Treated

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer : An overview by Med Today

If the tests find cancer, you and your doctor will develop a treatment plan to eradicate the breast cancer, to reduce the chance of cancer returning in the breast, as well as to reduce the chance of the cancer traveling to a location outside of the breast. Treatment generally follows within a few weeks after the diagnosis.

The type of treatment recommended will depend on the size and location of the tumor in the breast, the results of lab tests done on the cancer cells, and the stage, or extent, of the disease. Your doctor will usually consider your age and general health as well as your feelings about the treatment options.

Breast cancer treatments are local or systemic. Local treatments are used to remove, destroy, or control the cancer cells in a specific area, such as the breast. Surgery and radiation treatment are local treatments. Systemic treatments are used to destroy or control cancer cells all over the body. Chemotherapy and hormone therapy are systemic treatments. A patient may have just one form of treatment or a combination, depending on her individual diagnosis.

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How To Provide Proper Care For A Patient

The need for medical care may appear completely unexpectedly due to a disease, or gradually, as the person grows older. Older adults become dependent on their loved ones, and it is essential to provide them with proper care. Caring for an elderly person is not an easy process and requires a lot of patience and time. It is vital to remember that the person needs not only physical but also psychological support.

However, with the workload and the fast pace of life, it is not always possible to be close to a beloved relative. At All American Health Care, we offer caregiving services to assist patients and their families. We help organize leisure and brighten up the everyday life of a person who often experiences a lack of communication and support.

Also, the list of our services includes the following:

  • Food preparation
  • Walks, visits to medical centers
  • Maintaining sanitary conditions
  • Regular change of bed and clothing
  • Informing relatives about the patientâs state

All of our caretakers are qualified professionals with years of experience. They will measure blood pressure, pulse, blood glucose levels, monitor medication intake, and deliver intramuscular or intravenous injections if needed. Our team members know how to help the patient cope with symptoms of breast cancer and ease the course of the disease even in the late stages.

How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Many doctors have the training and experience to diagnose and treat many breast cancer types, from triple-negative, inflammatory and metastatic to luminal, HER2-positive or others.

In diagnosing inflammatory breast cancer and other breast cancer types and staging the disease, cancer experts use sophisticated diagnostic tools to locate the tumor and determine whether it has spread. Your care team may also test the tumor for specific genetic abnormalities or hormone sensitivities that suggest it may respond to targeted therapy or other personalized treatments.

If a lumpectomy, breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy is part of your breast cancer treatment plan, different cancer care providers may offer microsurgical and other reconstruction techniques. Further, your oncologist may help determine if you are the right fit or an ongoing clinical trial.

Tools used for diagnosing breast cancer include:

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Swelling In Armpits Or Collarbone

Swollen armpits and upper body parts such as the collarbone are also serious early symptoms of breast cancer.

This usually occurs when the cancerous growth has reached the adjoining lymph nodes. You might also feel lumps in these regions.

At this point, you must get instant treatment as the risk of breast cancer spreading to nearby organs is quite high.

Note: Lymphoedema is a condition that causes swollen arms after cancer treatment. It leads to fluid accumulation in the tissues and enlarges the hand, arm, or fingers.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer symptoms depend on the part of the body to which the cancer has spread and its stage. Sometimes, metastatic disease may not cause any symptoms.

  • If the breast or chest wall is affected, symptoms may include pain, nipple discharge, or a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm.
  • If the bones are affected, symptoms may include pain, fractures, constipation or decreased alertness due to high calcium levels.
  • If tumors form in the lungs, symptoms may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, coughing, chest wall pain or extreme fatigue.
  • If the liver is affected, symptoms may include nausea, extreme fatigue, increased abdominal girth, swelling of the feet and hands due to fluid collection and yellowing or itchy skin.
  • If breast cancer spreads to the brain or spinal cord and forms tumors, symptoms may include pain, confusion, memory loss, headache, blurred or double vision, difficulty with speech, difficulty with movement or seizures.

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What Causes Breast Infections

The cause of most breast infections is Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which causes what is commonly known as a staph infection. Streptococcus agalactiae is the second most common cause.

For breastfeeding mothers, a plugged milk duct can cause milk to back up and an infection to begin. Cracked nipples also increase the risk of breast infection. Bacteria from the babys mouth can enter and cause an infection. The bacteria that typically cause infection are also normally found on the skin, even when no infection is taking place. If the bacteria get into the breast tissue, they can multiply quickly and cause painful symptoms.

You can continue to breastfeed even when you have a mastitis infection because the bacteria are not harmful to your baby. This condition usually occurs in the first few weeks of breastfeeding, but it can occur later.

Non-lactational mastitis occurs in women with weakened immune systems, including women who have had lumpectomies with radiation therapy and women with diabetes. Some infection-like symptoms are a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, but this is very rare. Learn more about mastitis.

Subareolar abscesses occur when the glands under the nipple become blocked and an infection develops under the skin. This can form a hard, pus-filled lump that may need to be drained. This type of abscess normally only occurs in non-lactating women, and there are no known risk factors for it.

Symptoms of a breast infection can start suddenly and may include:

Your Nipples Have Changed

Only mannequins have perfect, pointy, well-behaved nipples. Real, human women have to deal with different colors and sizes, positions, textures, and hair.

Fortunately, all of these things are totally normal and not a problem as long as they’re your normal, says Dr. Denduluri. For example, if your nips have always been inverted, that’s just how you’re shaped, but if they change suddenly, going from pointy to fully or partially inverted, call your doctor stat. Bottom line: Any changes in your nipplesincluding their color and textureneed to be checked to rule out cancer, Dr. Denduluri says.

Oh, and BTW, hairy nipples on women have nothing to do with cancer and are totally normalone in three women have nipple hair, she adds.

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Is Breast Cancer Preventable

Walk The Walk stated that around 40 percent of cancers are preventable equating to 144,000 cases each year.

To help minimise your risk of cancer, the charity recommend eating a healthy diet.

In addition to consuming a good amount of vitamins and minerals, being more active every day is also encouraged.

The Breast Cancer Prevention charity added that to minimise your risk you should drink no or little alcohol.

Moreover, people are advised not to smoke taking in all of these factors, you can reduce your risk of disease.

Added benefits include: better sleep, better physical and mental health, and a lower risk of heart problems.

Certain hormone disrupting chemicals can mimic the natural hormone oestrogen which increases the rate of cell division, added the Breast Cancer Prevention charity.

The more a cell divides the more likely mutations will occur and accumulate, including those associated with breast cancer.

Dont Worry Its The Good Kind Of Breast Cancer Holly Diagnosed At 39

Early Onset Breast Cancer: Risk Reduction and Warning Signs

As for me and my good kind of breast cancer, my situation meant I had a slow-growing cancer. I had a lumpectomy on my right breast. The tumor was 1.3 cm. I had four rounds of chemo and then 36 radiation sessions. Ive been on Tamoxifen for six years and am getting ready to celebrate my seventh year survivorversary.

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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:
  • Pulls inward
  • Develops sores
  • Unusual nipple discharge. It could be clear, bloody, or another color.
  • A marble-like area under your skin that feels different from any other part of either breast.

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