Breast Cancer – How to Succeed – Part 2
Signs and Symptoms
A lump that appears in the breast that feels at variance with the surrounding breast tissue is typically the first symptom or indication of the presence of breast cancer.
The prestigious Merck Manual has indicated that, in the vast majority of breast cancer cases, it is the woman herself who first discovers the presence of a lump. The first medical indication of breast cancer, as stated in the reviews of the American Cancer Society, is usually discovered when the patient is subjected to a mammogram upon the advice of her doctor. Another indicator is the presence of hardened tissue found in the lymph nodes located under the armpits or in the region of the collarbone.
Alterations in the size or shape of the breast, skin dimpling, nipple inversion, or discharge from a nipple may be regarded as alternative indications of the presence of breast cancer. The incidence of pain is not a reliable determinant for the presence of the cancer. Such an observation may in fact be more indicative of other breast related issues such as mastodynia.
An appearance that can resemble skin inflammation is caused when the cells attack the small lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. Such a characterisation is known as inflammatory breast cancer. The onset of pain and swelling, the presence of warmth and redness all across the breast, together with a skin texture which has the appearance of the outer skin of an orange, are all initial characteristics associated with inflammatory breast cancer.
Paget’s disease of the breast is yet another, somewhat complex, symptom. This syndrome, which refers to the association of several clinically recognizable features, presents skin changes which are synonymous with eczema, such as redness and mild flaking of the nipple skin. The presence of a tingling sensation, of itching, increased sensitivity, burning, and pain are all characteristics associated with the advance of Paget’s syndrome. Another symptom may involve a discharge from the nipple. It has been found that a good proportion of women diagnosed with Paget’s also experienced a lump in the breast.
There are times when it occurs as a metastatic disease. As such, it represents a cancer that has spread beyond the original source and into neighbouring areas. This type of breast cancer will give rise to symptoms that depend on where the metastasis is situated. The bone, liver, lung and brain are where Metastasis is most commonly found.
An occult breast cancer can sometimes manifest itself in the form of unexplained weight loss. Another symptom could present itself in the form of fevers or chills. Further determinants of metastatic breast cancer can take the form of bone or joint pains, as well as jaundice or possibly even neurological indications. It must be remembered that some of these symptoms are non specific, and as such may be applicable to many other illnesses.
In this respect, therefore, it has been found that many symptoms of breast disorder do not actually turn out to represent an underlying presence of breast cancer. To establish this notion, benign breast diseases, such as mastitis and fibroadenoma of the breast, are more common causes of breast disorder symptoms.
Since there is a distinct possibility of acquiring an underlying breast cancer at almost any age, then the appearance of a new symptom should be taken seriously by both patients and their doctors.