10 Symptoms Associated with Breast Cancer 1-5
1. Skin Changes with the Breast
Noticeable changes to the skin and appearance of the breast should be a concern. The skin may begin to feel itchy or a there may be a tingling sensation across the skin of the breast. The skin may also become red. With inflammatory breast cancer, swelling and a dimpled look to the skin may also occur, due to the blockage of the lymph nodes that may be caused by a tumor or a growth.
2. Lump in the Breast
Of course, the symptom that most people hear about the most is a lump or a growth in the breast. This lump may be very small and soft, or it can feel like a hard knot in the tissue of the breast. However, sometimes lumps cannot be felt until cancer has developed into its later stages, which is why it is so important for women over 40 to have regular mammograms. Sometimes small growths can show up in a mammogram, when they are not large enough to be detected by a self-check for lumps in the breast.
In the early stages of this form of cancer, the breast may look completely normal, even though it has cancerous cells, which is why early detection of breast cancer is so very important for the success of its treatment. As cancer progresses, the breast may begin to swell. The arm and underarm area on the same side of the body may also be affected by swelling. The lymph nodes that are located under the arm become cancerous, they begin to swell up, blocking fluids and altering the way that they flow throughout the body, causing inflammation in many different areas.
4. Discharge from the Nipple
During any of the stages of breast cancer, any form of discharge from the nipple can definitely be a warning sign. Nipple discharge is any type of fluid that comes from the nipple, and it can include several different forms. The discharge may be yellow and seem to resemble pus, and it can be very liquid, or it can be thicker in form. The discharge may also take on the color of blood, and it can typically be clear with pockets of blood seeming to “float” in what appears to be a type of mucus. This discharge may or may not be accompanied with pain from the area of secretion.
Experiencing pain is a definite sign to see your doctor. As the tumor inside of the breast grows, the pain typically increases, as more and more pressure is placed upon different areas within the chest. When the tumor reaches the skin, it can also cause very painful ulcers and skin abrasions. If the cancer spreads into the ribs, it can cause extreme pain.
10 Symptoms Associated with Breast Cancer 6-10
discomfort and the anxiety associated with having cancer can typically
cause varying levels of insomnia. Many patients report that they have
problems falling asleep. They may also find it difficult to stay asleep,
as they are often awakened with pain, whether it be dull and aching or
shooting, stabbing pains. Insomnia is one of the most neglected symptoms
of breast cancer.
or a general lethargic feeling is one of the most common symptoms of
breast cancer, affecting a very large majority of patients, whether they
are currently experiencing treatment or they are in the early stages of
cancer and it has just been discovered. Chemotherapy is known to cause
fatigue, but even when a person may not be receiving this treatment, the
changes in their body overall may cause a tired feeling that doesn’t
seem to go away with sleep and rest. When an individual is experiencing
this, along with another symptom or two associated with breast cancer,
they should make an appointment with their doctor and communicate their
8. Stomach Problems
Any form of cancer can
cause problems with diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and an upset
stomach. Patients may begin to avoid certain types of food, trying to
stave off the digestive problems, so their bodies may not take in as
much fiber and calcium as they need, setting off another string of
problems that can cause pain and discomfort in the stomach area.
Medications can help alleviate some of these symptoms, but typically
9. Shortness of Breath
a generalized shortness of breath can also be a symptom related to
breast cancer. This can occur due to the size and the positioning of the
growth or tumor inside of the breast or along the wall of the chest. If
cancer has spread to the lungs, this can most definitely cause a
shortness of breath that can often be accompanied by wheezing or a dry,
“hacking” cough. Of course, these symptoms are not always an indicator
of breast cancer, but when coupled with one or more of the other early
warning signs, they should be taken seriously.
10. Difficulty Walking and Sitting
the breast cancer begins to spread, a variety of other symptoms may
begin to become more and more noticeable. One commonly affected area is
the bones, where cancer can easily spread, creating all manner of pain
and discomfort. Patients may typically experience severe pain and loss
of the range of motion in the hips, pelvis, spine, arms and legs. This
can often make walking or sitting difficult and very painful, often
creating the need to use a cane or a walker. When cancer spreads to the
brain, it can increase the effect of these symptoms with additional
problems like dizziness, weakness and headaches.