Breast Cancer and Its Symptoms

Breast Cancer and Its Symptoms

Every year millions of women are diagnosed with breast cancer and thankfully survival rates are increasing. Indeed, one thing that has improved the odds of breast cancer survival is related to the fact that woman who visit their GP immediately upon finding something during a routine breast examination will invariably gain a swift diagnosis and course of treatment.

Doctors state that examinations carried out at home can make a huge difference between living and dying when it comes to breast cancer. Every woman should give herself an exam every month and with that in mind, here’s some basic information on how to give yourself a breast exam and some background on the common symptoms of breast cancer.

How to perform a breast examination on yourself

First things first; stand in front of a mirror and take a look at your breasts. They should appear to be their normal size and shape. You should not see any kind of misshapen areas and the nipple area should look like it always does. Now, lift up your arms and check your breasts again in the mirror with your arms above your head. Perform the same steps as when in your natural posture.

All good? It’s time to lie down on your bed. Tuck one arm behind your head and with the opposite hand begin to touch your breast. Start touching from around the nipple then work your way out to include the areas both above and below your breast. The circular motion of your touch will allow you to feel anything unusual like hard lumps.

As some women struggle with this particular part of the examination due to age etc; if you prefer, you can also do the same exam while in the shower with one arm above your head.

The Symptoms of Breast Cancer

If during the examination, you encounter any of the following symptoms, it’s important that you make an appointment to see your doctor at the earliest opportunity. Don’t panic, but play it safe nevertheless.

• Changes in the breast: Do your breasts look swollen? Does part of your breast look swollen or misshapen?

• Changes in the skin: The skin may become dimpled, or there may be a rash that is scaly.

• Lumps: it goes without saying that lumps are the most common sign of breast cancer. Are there any painless hard lumps in your breast?

• Nipple changes: Your nipples may change appearance (often becoming inverted) and sometimes there will be discharge from the nipple.

Women need to check their breasts often to give themselves the best possible chance of successful treatment. Indeed, if you want to increase your chances of catching cancer early, you should examine your breasts every month and talk to your doctor if any of the above changes occur. The best way to stop breast cancer is early detection.

Breast Cancer and Its Symptoms

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