Breast Cancer Symptoms
Any woman who suddenly detects a lump in her breast is probably immediately going to think of the symptoms of breast cancer. But benign lumps and cysts are quite normal. In fact, 80% of all lumps that are detected in self-exams, during bathing or during normal activities are not breast cancer.
Some of the benign lumps can cause similar symptoms as lumps that are cancerous, however, because they also displace tissue and can change the shape of the breast. So finding a lump does not necessarily mean that you have cancer.
Some of the most common symptoms of breast cancer usually show themselves in the breast tissue itself, the skin or the nipple. Commons signs are:
An area on the breast that feels thicker or different than the rest of the breast, even if it doesn’t feel like a lump
A change in the shape of the breast
A change in the breast’s size
Dimpling or puckering of the skin of the breast
Red skin with no other explanation
Bloody nipple discharge
Crusting or flaking of the skin of the nipple
A nipple that’s inverted (pointing inward) or changed in appearance, such as pointing up, down or the side when it was not before
A change in the shape of a nipple
Unexplained breast tenderness or pain
One of the more important things to consider when you’re looking at symptoms of breast cancer is to know what your breast looks and feels like normally so it’s easy to compare. Breasts are not smooth globes of tissue. There are bumps, lumps and rope-like structures within the breast, especially in the top and the part of your breast closest to your armpit. The insides and bottoms of the breast are mostly fat, so these areas will be less lumpy and softer. And during hormonal changes like just before or during your period, there may be an even bigger difference in the way these different tissues feel beneath your hands and fingers.
Older women will tend to have more fatty tissue and less glandular lumps than younger women. SO when you’re checking your breasts for symptoms of breast cancer, bear in mind how the different areas feel that so you know what’s normally part of your breast and what’s new and different.
If you find something in one breast, it’s important not to panic. Carefully feel the matching area on the other breast. If you’re feeling a normal part of the breast it’s going to feel similar on both sides. If you’re unsure, then see your doctor for an exam to be on the safe side. Don’t hesitate to see your doctor if you find a lump that doesn’t’ match on the other breast and that remains after your next period has come and gone. Other symptoms of breast cancer like discharge, inverted nipples and skin issues mentioned above should always be checked out by a doctor.
Breast Cancer Symptoms