Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women and can cause health problems such as anxiety, depression, physical pain, or difficulty eating. In order to prevent any of these from happening you should know all about your risk factors for breast cancer and how to spot them early on before they escalate into something much worse. This article will cover six warning signs every woman must know about so that seeking treatment for breast cancer at its earliest stages would be easy. It could make a world of difference for her future.
Change in Breast Size or Firmness
A common sign of breast cancer is a change in size or firmness. Most often, this change is noticed as a lump in the breast, but it could also manifest as enlargement or decrease in size, inflammation, skin irritation, or dimpling of the skin. If you are noticing either one of these changes, it may be nothing to worry about but you should still get it checked out, according to the professionals at bedfordbreastcenter.com. This might also include sudden shrinkage or swelling of the breasts, thickening tissues in the breast area, or a change in skin color or texture. If your breasts feel more lumpy than usual they could be an indication that something isn’t right and needs immediate attention.
Pain in Breast Area
While pain is not always a sign of breast cancer, it could be an indicator of the disease if it doesn’t go away after a few weeks. Sometimes this pain may be a sharp or burning sensation and other times it could feel like an ache, squeezing, or soreness. This discomfort can also affect one breast at a time or both sides. Breast pain often presents itself more in the morning when you first wake up but it could happen at random times of the day as well including at night. If you are experiencing pain like this, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible because it could be a sign of cancerous cells spreading.
Lump in the Breast
The most common symptom of breast cancer is lumpy tissue that forms under the nipple and/or around the edge of the areola (the dark area around the nipple). This lump, which is usually painless, can be about the size of a pencil eraser or larger and can be felt during self-examination or when your doctor palpates (touches) your breast. However, not all lumps are cancerous so it’s important to get any lump checked out by a doctor.
Sometimes a lump can also appear or be more pronounced on one side of the body than the other. In this case, it is important to pay extra attention to that area during your self-examination and always consult your doctor if you notice anything different from usual.
Nipple Itching, Burning, and Rash
If you notice a rash or a burning sensation around your nipple accompanied by itching, this might be an early sign of breast cancer. The pain and discomfort may also feel like sunburn only it’s confined to the area around your nipple. You could also experience tingling or sharp pains that travel into your armpit or underarm area. These symptoms can come and go and might be worse before your menstrual period.
Also, a milky, yellow, or green discharge from the nipple could be an indicator of breast cancer. This discharge might only happen in one breast or it could be present in both breasts. It’s important to note that not all discharges are due to cancer so your doctor will have to examine the fluid under a microscope.
Warm Area in The Breast
One final sign of breast cancer to be aware of is a warm area in the breast. This is usually caused by the tumor growing rapidly and pushing surrounding tissues out of the way. It happens when the cancerous cells start to block the blood vessels near the skin. As a result, that particular area becomes warmer than the surrounding tissue. You might also experience redness or swelling in that area. The more it grows, the tumor may start to compress blood vessels near the skin which can make that area feel warmer than the rest of your breast. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical help right away.
Swelling of All or Part of a Breast
A breast that is swollen all the time or swells suddenly could be a sign of breast cancer. This might present as a lump in the breast but it’s not always accompanied by one. The swelling might be caused by the tumor pressing on the lymph nodes under your arm, which can cause them to swell. When this happens, the entire breast, or just the part of the breast that is swollen, might become painful.
While these are not the only signs of breast cancer, they are some of the most common ones. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see your doctor as soon as possible for a check-up. Early detection is key in fighting breast cancer so don’t hesitate to get help if something feels off.