It is crucial that breast cancer is caught in its early stages for the best possible prognosis which is why women over 40 are encouraged to have an annual mammogram. Let’s learn about some of the early warning signs related to breast cancer.Listed Below are 10 common symptoms associated with Breast Cancer:
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.