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What Does It Feel Like When You Have Breast Cancer

Palpation Of Cancerous Masses

Breast Cancer : What Does a Breast Cancer Lump Feel Like?

Cancerous masses in the breast are often very firm, like a rock or a carrot, and have an irregular shape and size. They are often fixedthey feel like they are attached to the skin or nearby tissue so that you can’t move them around by pushing on thembut can be mobile. They’re also not likely to be painful, though they can be in some cases.

On exam, other changes may be present as well, such as dimpling of the skin or an orange-peel appearance, nipple retraction, or enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit.

One type of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, does not usually cause a lump but instead involves redness, swelling, and sometimes a rash on the skin of the breast.

What Do Breast Cancer Lumps Feel Like

Lumps in the breasts can be a serious concern, and people who perform regular self-exams often wonder exactly what breast cancer lumps feel like and how to tell them apart from non-cancerous, or benign, lumps. Breast cancer lumps are usually very hard and are often irregularly shaped. In the early stages, they may be about the same size as a pea, and can feel dimpled, much like the surface of a golf ball. Often, a cancerous lump cannot be moved around in the breast, and pressing on the area doesn’t usually cause discomfort.

Another potential indicator that a lump is a cancerous is when the skin becomes dimpled or puckered right above it. If the lump is in the nipple, the nipple could become inverted any lump accompanied by pink or bloody discharge may also be a cause for concern. Bruises on the breasts that appear suddenly can be a symptom of breast cancer, as well. Cancerous lumps may be found both near the surface of the breast and deeper inside, closer to the chest wall. They may also occur in the armpit area.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

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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Money And Financial Support

If you have to reduce or stop work because of your cancer, you may find it difficult to cope financially.

If you have cancer or you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to financial support, for example:

  • if you have a job but can’t work because of your illness, you’re entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer
  • if you don’t have a job and can’t work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance
  • if you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to Carers Allowance
  • you may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home, or if you have a low household income

Find out what help is available to you as soon as possible. The social worker at your hospital will be able to give you the information you need.

Statistics On Breast Cancer & Pain

How to Check if You Have a Lump on Your Breast

A breast tumora hard clump of breast cancer cellsusually doesn’t usually cause breast pain unless it reaches the size of two centimeters in diameter or greater. But a tumor can be larger than two centimeters and still not cause pain.

In fact,only about 5% to 15% of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer complain of breast pain. Only 7% of those diagnosed with breast cancer seek a doctor because of breast pain, excluding other symptoms.

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Be Aware Of Your Breasts To Detect Breast Cancer Symptoms Early

Studies show that regular breast self-exams are not the best way to detect breast cancer early.

What does work? Being aware of how your breasts look and feel and seeing a doctor as soon as you notice changes or abnormalities.

The vast majority of breast cancers are found during daily activities like showering, applying deodorant or even scratching, says Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center.

Bevers advises women to see a doctor if they have one or more symptoms of breast cancer, no matter how mild they may seem.

You dont need to wait for any particular size or severity of symptoms to get checked out, she says. “The earlier that breast cancer is detected, the better our chances of treating it successfully.”

And you shouldnt ignore symptoms just because you breasts don’t hurt. Pain is rarely a symptom of breast cancer, she says.

The vast majority of breast cancers are found during daily activitieslike showering, applying deodorant or even scratching.

Therese Bevers, M.D.

Ovarian Ablation Or Suppression

In women who haven’t experienced the menopause, oestrogen is produced by the ovaries. Ovarian ablation or suppression stops the ovaries working and producing oestrogen.

Ablation can be carried out using surgery or radiotherapy. It stops the ovaries working permanently and means you’ll experience the menopause early.

Ovarian suppression involves using a medication called goserelin, which is a luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist . Your periods will stop while you’re taking it, although they should start again once your treatment is complete.

If you’re approaching the menopause , your periods may not start again after you stop taking goserelin.

Goserelin is taken as an injection once a month and can cause menopausal side effects, including:

  • hot flushes and sweats

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What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

Breast pain can be a symptom of cancer. If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.

Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all.

Some warning signs of breast cancer are

  • 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 or 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.

Keep in mind that these symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer.

If you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.

Loss Of Bladder And Bowel Control

What does it feel like after a Mastectomy

The dying person might lose control of their bladder and bowel. This happens because the muscles in these areas relax and dont work as they did. This can be distressing to see and you might worry that they may feel embarrassed. The nursing staff will do all they can to protect the bed and keep your relative or friend as clean and comfortable as possible.

If you are caring for the person at home, the district nurses and specialist nurses can arrange for you to have protective sheets or pads for the bed. They might also be able to arrange a laundry service for you, if necessary. As people become very close to death and are not eating or drinking, the amount of urine and stools they produce gets less and less.

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Skin Irritation Or Dimpling

A rough patch of skin that feels scaly or thicker than usual or skin that starts to dimple can signal breast cancer, Dr. Weber says. With some breast cancers, channels that go from the inside of the breast to the skin become blocked, resulting in skin changes that make the breast look like its covered with an orange peel.

What Are The Signs That Breast Cancer Has Spread

Metastatic breast cancer is a secondary cancer the cancerous cells originate in breast tissue and then travel to other parts of the body. The most common areas of breast cancer metastasis are the bones, lungs and liver.

Following an initial breast cancer diagnosis, a patient will receive a personalized monitoring plan for metastatic reoccurrence from their care team. Depending on the specific parts of the body affected, the symptoms of metastatic breast cancer can vary.

Read Also: What Is Stage 3a Breast Cancer

You Notice Dimply Scaly Patchy Or Inflamed Skin

You know your boobs and all their little quirks so if you notice any changes to their normal appearance, pay attention, says Debra Patt, MD, OB-GYN, and breast cancer expert with Texas Oncology, a practice in the US Oncology Network.

“Any unusual thickening, redness, rash, dimpling, or puckering of your breast skin, or around the nipple, should be checked out by your doctor,” she explains.

Symptoms Of Angiosarcoma Of The Breast

Breast Diseases or Breast Cancer

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.

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When You Have Breast Cancer What Do The Lumps Feel Like

Health related question in topics ConditionsIllness .We found some answers as below for this question When you have breast cancer what do the lumps feel like,you can compare them.

When you have breast cancer what do the lumps feel like

What Does a Breast Cancer Lump Feel Like?
http://www.ehow.com/topic_5305_breast-cancer-diagnosis-checklist.html
Breast cancer lumps are very hard, and they often feel like a BB or a marble, but sometimes they can be difficult to feel. Find out how breast cancer can simply look like a Read More
What do breast cancer lumps feel like?
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080724124739AAPBdrw
Theres no straightforward answer to this. What you should be looking for are any changes to how YOUR breasts normally are, which is why its important to be familiar with how they usually are many women have naturally lumpy breasts. Mo
What does the lump feel like when you have breast cancer?
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090310175622AAqG1wb
Breast cancer at your age is more than very unlikely, its almost unheard of and the chances of it happening are very close to zero. Most breast lumps, even in women over 50 arent cancerous, and most canc

What Does Cancer Feel Like

Cancer remains a difficult disease to diagnose because it is capable of causing so many symptoms. The signs depend on the size and position of the cancer and the extent that it is affecting the tissues or organs. If the cancer metastasizes , its symptoms change and can appear in every region where it has spread. Therefore, knowing the answer to “What does cancer feel like” is better, as the moment you start to have such feelings, you can contact your doctor for early check and diagnosis.

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Have Questions Or Concerns About Your Breast Health Dont Delay Find Answers Fast

Thanks in large part to earlier detection and advances in breast cancer treatment options, this disease is more survivable than ever. Thats a trend all of us can feel good about.

So, if youre due for screening, call to schedule a mammogram at one of our breast health centers in the Twin Cities. Oftentimes, we can offer next-day and same-day appointments.

If you have another breast health concern or are noticing any unusual symptoms, dont ignore what youre feeling. Make an appointment with a primary care doctor. Primary care doctors are experts in diagnosing and treating hundreds of conditions.

Questions or concerns about your breast health? Were here for you.

Changes In The Contour Or Texture Of The Skin Over Your Breast

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Many women are surprised to learn that breast skin changes can be a sign of something happening beneath the surface. So, keep an eye out for these types of skin changes that could be a sign of breast cancer:

  • Dimpling or flat spots on the skin over your breast or nipple
  • Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple or breast skin
  • Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

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What Causes Cancer Pain

There are a number of different causes of cancer pain. For example, the pain can stem from a tumor itself or the damage that it has caused the surrounding tissue or organs. For example, deep pain can occur in the bones from a tumor placing pressure on the bone, and burning pain can occur when a tumor presses against a nerve.

There is also discomfort and pain associated with many cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. In some cases, the pain you experience is associated with nerve damage. The nerves can be damaged during treatment or from the cancer itself. Additionally, nerves could be signaling the brain that damage is either occurring or could occur. Nerve damage typically cant be reversed and causes chronic pain.

‘my Dog Found My Cancer’

I had just been to the ob-gyn for my annual check-up and breast exam, and got the ‘all okay.’ Soon after, my little dog Zoe climbed up on me and started pawing at a specific part of my breast. Little alarms went off in my head, telling me to pay attention. It was like a slow-motion movie. I pushed her off and thats when I found a little round BB-sized lump. After a mammogram that didnt show anything, and a sonogram that found the lump, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Its so important to listen to the messages our bodies are telling us.

Christine Egan, author of The Healthy Girls Guide to Breast Cancer, Bayport, New York

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Further Tests For Breast Cancer

If a diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed, more tests will be needed to determine the stage and grade of the cancer, and to work out the best method of treatment.

If your cancer was detected through the NHS Breast Screening Programme, you’ll have further tests in the screening centre before being referred for treatment.

I Have Cancer Do I Need Chemo

Breast Cancer Symptoms Are

When breast cancer spreads to your lymph nodes like it had with mine, chemo is a must. Its just deciding which chemo drug and how many sessions youre going to have. I wish I could tell you that taking the guessing out of whether or not I needed chemo made it easier. But it didnt. I remember my doctor explaining the course of treatment I would need. It just sounded like a repetition of words I didnt quite understand yet. Adriamycin. Eight weeks. Extreme fatigue. Dose dense. Port placement. Surgery. Taxol. 12 weeks. Neuropathy.

I held my husbands hand, while tears streamed down my face. The doctor just kept talking. I wanted her to finish. I felt like I had done something bad and was sitting in the principal’s office. You know that feeling. They keep talking and you really dont know what to say and you just want your parents to come rescue you.

Thankfully, my doctor was very patient. She wrote everything downI still have the sheet of paper and reference it a lot when friends and family ask about my treatment. Arming myself with information and being able to explain it back to everyone made me feel like I was in control. Thats the thing about cancer. You feel like it takes control of your life. And any little thing that makes you feel like you are still in charge, you grip with an iron fist.

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Breast Cancer Types And Symptoms

There are several kinds of breast cancer. Many of them share symptoms.

Symptoms of ductal carcinoma

This is the most common type of breast cancer. It begins in your ducts. About 1 in 5 new breast cancers are ductal carcinoma in situ . This means you have cancer in the cells that line your ducts, but it hasnât spread into nearby tissue.

You may not notice any symptoms of ductal carcinoma. It can also cause a breast lump or bloody discharge.

Symptoms of lobular carcinoma

This kind begins in the glands that make milk, called lobules. Itâs the second most common type of breast cancer. Symptoms include:

  • Fullness, thickening, or swelling in one area
  • Nipples that are flat or point inward

Symptoms of invasive breast cancer

Breast cancer thatâs spread from where it began into the tissues around it is called invasive or infiltrating. You may notice:

  • A lump in your breast or armpit. You might not be able to move it separately from your skin or move it at all.
  • One breast that looks different from the other
  • A rash or skin thatâs thick, red, or dimpled like an orange
  • Skin sores
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Muscle weakness

Symptoms of triple-negative breast cancer

Breast cancer is called triple-negative if it doesnât have receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone and doesnât make a lot of a protein called HER2. This kind tends to grow and spread faster than other types, and doctors treat it differently.

Symptoms of male breast cancer

  • A small, hard cyst

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