Breast cancer is one of most common and dangerous type of cancer in women (especially after menopause). In XXI century breast cancer can be treated effectively if it is detected at early stages but unfortunately many women don’t know breast cancer symptoms which lead to late diagnosis. At the same time, many women ignore typical signs of breast cancer. Effectiveness of treatment and survival rate depends on stage of breast cancer. Early breast cancer detection can be vital – earlier breast cancer is detected, better are prognosis. Lack of knowledge can be crucial for women lives. Each woman should know most common and early signs of breast cancer.
Health experts clearly identified breast cancer signs. Women just need to pay enough attention to detectable and visible breast cancer symptoms. If breast cancer is not detected in time, cancerous cells can invade into surrounding tissues and spread to other organs (metastases) through blood and lymph system.
One in 8 women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
Earlier you identify breast cancer symptoms, higher would be survival rate (up to 95-98%).
Breast cancer in women
Top 5 breast cancer symptoms – breast lump
Breast lump could be the first warning sign of breast cancer. In most cases breast lump is painless and don’t change during menstrual cycle. In most cases breast lump is benign but sometimes it can be cancerous.
Dangerous cancerous lumps are hard with irregular borders. Usually tumor tissue is different from the rest of breast tissue. Rarely cancerous lump can be tender, soft rounded.
Sometimes women detect lump in armpit. According to health experts, lump in armpit can be considered as a sign of breast cancer spread to lymph nodes.
In all cases breast lump should be differentiated from breast fibroadenoma, fibrocystic breasts and mastitis. Breast lump appearance is the indication for diagnostic mammography.
Top 5 breast cancer symptoms – nipple changes
Top 5 breast cancer symptoms
In most cases breast cancer development leads to nipple changes. For example, inverted nipple (pointed inward nipple) can be very early sign of breast cancer. If you always had normal healthy nipples and suddenly noted nipple changes (especially inverted nipple occurrence) on one side, better visit your doctor urgently.
Cancerous transformations may also change nipple shape, size, position and appearance (reddish color, scabrous emersion, thickening or crusty formation) on one side. Cancer could trigger nipple rash or increased sensitivity on one side.
Most dangerous is spontaneous reddish (bloody) or brown discharge from one nipple.
Typical nipple crusting ulcer may be a sign of rare type of breast cancer called “Paget disease of the breast” or “Paget disease of the nipple” or “mammary Paget disease.
Top 5 breast cancer symptoms – breast appearance
At certain period of life women could notice breast changes but not all changes could be signs of breast cancer. In general, breast changes on both sides are not dangerous – in most cases breast changes correlate with hormonal fluctuations or pregnancy. At the same time, breast changes on one side should be considered as warning signs.
Special attention should be paid to one side breast shape changes, breast size changes and breast appearance changes (breast skin changes). Any changes in armpit zone also need special care because first place that breast cancerous cells usually spread is armpit lymph nodes (lymph glands). Suddenly emerged one side armpit lump or armpit rash or armpit swelling could be warning signs of breast cancer.
In general breast asymmetry is a common phenomenon. About 20% of healthy adult women have genetically inherited asymmetric breasts with different shape or size or position. In most cases breast asymmetry is not even visible. Only sudden change in one breast appearance can be considered as warning symptom.
Top 5 breast cancer symptoms – breast skin
One side breast skin appearance changes (skin redness or dimpling, skin thickening or itching, skin puckering or irritation, skin changes in color and texture) also need special attention.
During breast cancer sometimes women could experience one side breast skin dimpling and/or puckering. Health experts call it “orange peel skin” which is caused by unusually enlarged skin pores.
It was noted that during breast cancer the skin temperature is increased and ill breast is usually warmer. Typical symptoms of so called “Inflammatory Breast Cancer” are one side breast skin redness, irritation or swelling.
Top 5 breast cancer symptoms – breast pain
Localized one side breast pain and pain in armpit may be also breast cancer symptoms. Persistent unusual breast pain that is not related to hormonal contraception or to hormonal treatments or to menstrual cycle and doesn’t disappear after menstrual period could be considered as breast cancer symptom.
Sharp unexpected one side breast pain or armpit pain combined with one side breast tenderness or lump should be considered as an indication for urgent mammography.
Breast pain on both sides could be a symptom of benign (not cancerous) conditions such as mastopathy, fibroadenoma or breast cyst.
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.