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When To Worry About Breast Cancer

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms

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Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer rarely causes breast lumps and may not appear on a mammogram. Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen, itchy breast that is tender to the touch
  • The surface of the breast may take on a ridged or pitted appearance, similar to an orange peel
  • Heaviness, burning, or aching in one breast
  • One breast is visibly larger than the other
  • Inverted nipple
  • No mass is felt with a breast self-exam
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm and/or above the collarbone
  • Symptoms unresolved after a course of antibiotics

Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer usually does not cause a distinct lump in the breast. Therefore, a breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, or even a mammogram may not detect inflammatory breast cancer. Ultrasounds may also miss inflammatory breast cancer. However, the changes to the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer can develop rapidly, and the disease can progress quickly. Any sudden changes in the texture or appearance of the breast should be reported to your doctor immediately.

For women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, redness, swelling, itchiness and soreness are often signs of a breast infection such as mastitis, which is treatable with antibiotics. If you are not pregnant or nursing and you develop these symptoms, your doctor should test for inflammatory breast cancer.

Is It Normal To Feel Scared

Its normal to be very anxious when youre waiting for results.

Some people say waiting for results is the most worrying part of the whole process, whatever the outcome is.

Its very common to worry about the possibility of cancer. However, its important to remember that until you have your results, these are thoughts and not facts.

I often suggest people remind themselves of what they actually know. A good way of doing that is to write down what youve been told up to now and what the facts are about your situation.

Its also a good idea to on 0808 800 6000 if youd like to talk about your worries.

Living With Breast Cancer

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can affect daily life in many ways, depending on what stage it’s at and the treatment you will have.

How people cope with the diagnosis and treatment varies from person to person. There are several forms of support available, if you need it.

Forms of support may include:

  • family and friends, who can be a powerful support system
  • communicating with other people in the same situation
  • finding out as much as possible about your condition
  • not trying to do too much or overexerting yourself
  • making time for yourself

Find out more about living with breast cancer.

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Anxiety In Breast Cancer Patients

All of us feel anxious sometimes. We may worry about things that might happen or have a restless night of sleep. But, people with an anxiety problem worry so much that it affects their lives in negative ways. As stated above, anxiety is one of the most dominant psychological challenges associated with cancer. In another word, anxiety is just a normal reaction for cancer patients. Patients anxiety increases once they discover that they suffer from breast cancer, they may also become more anxious as cancer spreads or treatment becomes more intense. Consequently, the level of anxiety experienced by one person with cancer may differ from the anxiety experienced by another. Many anxiety cases associated with cancer were treated from this sickness, but others were not. Therefore, psychologists need to give support and hope to breast cancer’s patients they need to help them cope with their feeling and pain.

Moreover, cancer’s patients may experience anxiety at different situation as while undergoing a screening test, waiting for the results, receiving a diagnosis, undergoing treatment, or anticipating a recurrence of their cancer. The anxiety associated with cancer may increase feelings of pain, interfere their ability to sleep, causes nausea and vomiting, and interfere with their quality of life. And the severe anxiety may even shorten the patient’s life.

What Keeps These Micro

Breast Cancer Symptoms: When to Worry, When to Wait

They are kept in check by a mix of the following elements:

In other words, when it comes to getting or not getting cancer, the glass is more than half-full.

So, should we just relax and not worry? Actually, thats not a productive question to ask. A more interesting one, that may actually produce interesting answers is:

What makes most people resistant to cancer?

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Breast Reconstruction Surgery After Mastectomy

After having a mastectomy a woman might want to consider having the breast mound rebuilt to restore the breast’s appearance. This is called breast reconstruction. Although each case is different, most mastectomy patients can have reconstruction. Reconstruction can be done at the same time as the mastectomy or sometime later.

If you are thinking about having reconstructive surgery, its a good idea to discuss it with your surgeon and a plastic surgeon before your mastectomy. This allows the surgical teams to plan the treatment thats best for you, even if you wait and have the reconstructive surgery later. Insurance companies typically cover breast reconstruction, but you should check with your insurance company so you know what is covered.

Some women choose not to have reconstructive surgery. Wearing a breast prosthesis is an option for women who want to have the contour of a breast under their clothes without having surgery. Some women are also comfortable with just going flat.

Breast Changes During Your Lifetime That Are Not Cancer

Most women have changes in the breasts at different times during their lifetime.

  • Before or during your menstrual periods, your breasts may feel swollen, tender, or painful. You may also feel one or more lumps during this time because of extra fluid in your breasts. Your health care provider may have you come back for a return visit at a different time in your menstrual cycle to see if the lump has changed.
  • During pregnancy, your breasts may feel lumpy. This is usually because the glands that produce milk are increasing in number and getting larger. While breastfeeding, you may get a condition called mastitis. This happens when a milk duct becomes blocked. Mastitis causes the breast to look red and feel lumpy, warm, and tender. It may be caused by an infection and it is often treated with antibiotics. Sometimes the duct may need to be drained.
  • As you approach menopause, your hormone levels change. This can make your breasts feel tender, even when you are not having your menstrual period. Your breasts may also feel more lumpy than they did before.
  • If you are taking hormones your breasts may become more dense. This can make a mammogram harder to interpret. Be sure to let your health care provider know if you are taking hormones.
  • After menopause, your hormone levels drop. You may stop having any lumps, pain, or nipple discharge that you used to have.

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Treatments To Reduce Your Risk

If you have a greatly increased risk of developing breast cancer, for example, a BRCA gene carrier, treatment might be available to reduce your risk. This applies to a very small minority of women.

Your level of risk is determined by factors such as your age, your family’s medical history, and the results of genetic tests.

You will usually be referred to a specialist genetics service if it’s thought you have a significantly increased risk of breast cancer. Healthcare professionals working at these services might discuss treatment options with you.

The 2 main treatments are surgery to remove the breasts or medication. These are described in more detail below.

How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treated

Youre Done With Treatment. When to Worry About Recurrence?

IBC can grow quickly, so its necessary to start treatment immediately after diagnosis. The sooner treatment starts, the better the chances are of recovery.

Treatment for inflammatory breast cancer usually involves a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Chemotherapy is often given before surgery, and then surgery is performed to remove the affected breast tissue and lymph nodes. Radiation is delivered after surgery. Some types of IBC respond to hormone-lowering medications, so these may be given in addition to the other treatments. Lastly, some people may choose to participate in clinical trials to try out new treatments that arent widely available to the public yet.

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Should I Worry About Breast Calcifications

Medically Reviewed By: Tari A. King, MD, FACS

Receiving the news that something abnormal has turned up on a routine mammogram can be frightening, but breast calcifications are usually harmless. In rare instances, they can be an early sign of breast cancer, though calcifications themselves do not develop into cancer.

Who Is At Risk

IBC is more common in females than males, but its possible for males to develop it, too. Research tells us that women from African-Caribbean backgrounds have the highest risk of developing IBC, and having a close family member who has had breast cancer is also associated with increased risk. Obesity is another risk factor for IBC.

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What Should You Do If You Feel A Breast Lump

Dr. Joshi says your first action after feeling a breast lump should be to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor.

Your doctor will look for a variety of features and characteristics in order to answer questions such as:

  • How large is the lump?
  • Does the lump move and slip under the fingers, or is it attached to the skin?
  • Is the lump painless or painful?
  • Is the lump accompanied by red, itchy or inflamed skin?
  • Is the lump affecting the nipple, causing inversion or discharge?
  • Is the lump changing in size?
  • Does the lump become more painful or change in size around your period?
  • Is there more than on lump?
  • Are there lumps in both breasts?

“Based on the physical and clinical characteristics of the lump, your doctor may or may not recommend follow-up tests to more thoroughly evaluate the mass, such as a diagnostic mammogram or biopsy,” explains Dr. Joshi.

Urgent Advice: You Should See Your Gp If You Notice:

Breast Cancer Risk: Should You Be Worried? Expert Explains ...
  • a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

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Relationships With Friends And Family

It’s not always easy to talk about cancer, either for you or your family and friends. You may sense that some people feel awkward around you or avoid you.

Being open about how you feel and what your family and friends can do to help may put them at ease. However, don’t be afraid to tell them that you need some time to yourself, if that’s what you need.

Want to know more?

Other Causes Of Pain And Tenderness

We often associate pain with something wrong, so when people feel tenderness or pain in their breast, they often think of breast cancer. But breast pain is rarely the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer. Several other factors can cause the pain.

Clinically known as mastalgia, breast pain can also be caused by the following:

  • the fluctuation of hormones caused by menstruation

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Inflammatory Breast Cancer: How To Spot It And What To Do About It

Many things can cause skin changes on the breasts, and its normally no big deal. Rarely, it could signal a more serious condition called inflammatory breast cancer . Keep reading to learn about common causes of breast skin changes diagnosis and treatment for IBC what to watch out for and how to protect your health.

Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer

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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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    Appearance Of Cancer Cells

    The appearance, or differentiation, of the cancer cells is another factor in cancer staging. Doctors grade cancer cells according to how similar they appear to noncancerous cells under a microscope.

    Doctors classify cancer cells that are close to resembling healthy cells as being low grade or well differentiated. These cancers typically grow more slowly.

    High grade, or poorly differentiated, cancer cells appear very different than normal cells and tend to grow faster.

    Here is an overview of each breast cancer stage:

    • Stage 0: This cancer is noninvasive and is only present inside the milk duct. This stage includes ductal carcinoma in situ .
    • Stage 1: These are small tumors that either have not spread to the lymph nodes or are only affecting a small area of the sentinel lymph node.
    • Stage 2: These are larger tumors that have spread to some nearby lymph nodes.
    • Stage 3: These tumors are large or growing into surrounding tissues, such as breast skin, muscle, and lymph nodes.
    • Stage 4: These are tumors that started in the breast but have spread to other parts of the body.
    • targeted therapy

    Early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer can significantly improve a persons outlook.

    According to the ACS, the 5-year relative survival rate for localized breast cancer is 99%. This statistic means that people with this type of cancer are 99% as likely to survive for at least 5 years after diagnosis as those without the condition.

    • lymph node involvement

    What Can Skin Changes On The Breast Mean

    It can be scary to spot a change in your breasts, but if you notice that the skin of your breast is red, swollen, or warm, theres usually no reason to worry. Breast skin can be quite sensitive, so there are lots of common conditions and causes for breast skin changes, and the vast majority are not too much of a concern.

    Some of the most common causes include:

    Although most of the causes of a rash on the breast arent much to worry about, its important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of more serious conditions.

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    ‘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.

    Side Effects Of Mastectomy

    When to Worry About Lumps in Your Breasts

    The side effects of mastectomy can depend on the type of mastectomy you have . Side effects can include:

    • Pain or tenderness of the surgery site
    • Swelling at the surgery site
    • Buildup of blood in the wound
    • Buildup of clear fluid in the wound
    • Limited arm or shoulder movement
    • Numbness in the chest or upper arm
    • Nerve pain in the chest wall, armpit, and/or arm that doesnt go away over time. It is also called post-mastectomy pain syndrome or PMPS.
    • If axillary lymph nodes are also removed, other side effects such as lymphedema may occur.

    As with all operations, bleeding and infection at the surgery site are also possible.

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