Breast cancer is a serious condition that affects many women around the world. It is crucial to be aware of the symptoms and signs of breast cancer in order to catch it early and seek appropriate medical attention. In this article, we will discuss the 12 most common breast cancer symptoms and signs that you should look for during your self-breast exam.
Breast self-examination is an effective method for early detection of breast cancer. By conducting regular self-exams, you can familiarize yourself with the normal appearance and feel of your breasts, making it easier to identify any changes or abnormalities. Remember, though, that self-exams are not a substitute for regular check-ups with your healthcare provider.
Now let’s dive into the 12 breast cancer symptoms and signs that you should pay attention to:
Lump or Thickening: The most common symptom of breast cancer is the presence of a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm area. These lumps may feel different from surrounding tissue and should be checked by a healthcare professional.
Changes in Breast Size or Shape: If you notice any changes in the size or shape of your breasts, it could be a sign of breast cancer. This includes swelling, shrinking, or sagging of the breasts.
Skin Changes: Look out for skin changes on your breasts, such as redness, thickening, or dimpling. These changes may resemble an orange peel, and it’s important to have them evaluated by a doctor.
Nipple Changes: Pay attention to any unusual changes in your nipples, including inversion (when the nipple turns inward), discharge (other than breast milk), or scaling and crusting.
Breast Pain: While breast pain is usually not a common symptom of breast cancer, it’s important to note any persistent or unusual pain in your breasts. If the pain is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, consult your doctor.
Nipple Sensitivity: Changes in nipple sensitivity, such as increased pain or tenderness, may also be a cause for concern and should be investigated further.
Swelling or Lump in the Armpit: Breast cancer can cause swelling or a lump in the lymph nodes located in the armpit area. If you notice any changes in this area, be sure to have it examined by a healthcare professional.
Breast Skin Rash: In some cases, breast cancer can cause a rash on the skin of the breast. This rash may be itchy, red, or scaly, and it’s crucial to have it evaluated by a doctor.
Nipple Retraction: If your nipple suddenly pulls inward or becomes indented, it could be a sign of breast cancer. Make note of any changes in nipple appearance and consult your healthcare provider.
Persistent Breast Swelling: If one breast appears larger than the other or experiences persistent swelling that does not go away, it’s important to seek medical advice.
Breast Ulceration: Although rare, breast cancer can cause ulcers or sores on the skin of the breast. These should be evaluated promptly by a healthcare professional.
Unexplained Weight Loss: In advanced stages of breast cancer, unexplained weight loss may occur. While weight loss can have various causes, it’s essential to mention it to your doctor, especially when combined with other symptoms.
Remember, experiencing one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, as they can also be caused by benign conditions. However, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional if you notice any changes or abnormalities in your breasts.
In conclusion, staying vigilant and conducting regular self-breast exams is crucial for early detection of breast cancer. By familiarizing yourself with these 12 symptoms and signs, you can take control of your breast health. If you notice any changes or abnormalities, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for further evaluation.
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