One of the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women is breast cancer. In the United States one in every 8 women is developing this deadly disease. It typically develops as a tiny tumor or lump, throughout the breast in the tissues; further if it is cancerous, it spreads through the lymph nodes.
10 early warning signs of breast cancer are discussed below-
1. Detection of a Lump
During a self-breast exam, make sure that you carefully apply pressure to the breasts and surrounding tissues. Sometimes both benign-non cancerous and malignant cancerous breast lumps form underneath the armpit, in the collarbone, close to the site of the lymph nodes, and around the nipples. These lumps are rigid, hard or tender, which don’t move when you press against them.
2. Itchy Breasts
It is a very common symptom of inflammatory breast cancer. Itching in and around the breast area can indicate an underlying issue more severe than dermatitis. This sensation of itchiness is often accompanied by nipple discharge and thicker appearance of breast tissue or change in texture. Don’t sit quiet with a prescribed ointment, immediately get yourself screened for breast cancer.
3. Swollen Breasts
If there is a breast tumor pressing on the tissues, inflammation of the breast tissues and areas around the breasts can occur. It is a typical sign of inflammatory breast cancer, the swelling can be accompanied by patchy, red, hot skin which can feel extremely tender to the touch.
4. Shoulder & Neck Stiffness
Breast cancer usually spreads to the spine, back, or shoulders, which causes achy pain in shoulder and neck areas. If there is a persistent pain in back, neck, and shoulder regardless of any ointment, rest, stretching, or massage, immediately contact your doctor and talk about a breast cancer screening.
5. Breast Size Change
Most often, your partner might detect a problem, as there might be changes in breast size. It’s very common for a breast tumor affects the shape or size of an affected breast even before you feel that lump. Keep a visual check on the shape and size of your breasts in a mirror.
6. Breast Tenderness
It’s very common for a lump to develop in a small structure like seeds along the breast tissue, this may cause the breasts to become tender.
7. Nipple Discharge
Breast cancer is most likely to develop in your milk ducts which is around the nipples. This can show in a milky, watery, or blood-tinged discharge which leaves behind a scaly crust on the nipple. So if you are not breastfeeding, and you see any discharge from the nipples, be alarmed as is not normal. Run to the doctor immediately.
8. Nipple Sensitivity
Another symptom that is often noticed by your partner is abnormally sensitive nipples. These nipples might suddenly become void of sensitivity. Often caused by breast tumors, which develop underneath the tissue of the nipple.
9. Nipple Changes
A tumor that develops underneath the nipple can cause your nipples to change the way it looks as well. Again, your partner might notice that your nipple has become flat, inverted, indented, or asymmetrical in shape. It might even change in size for no reason.
10. Dimpled Breast Tissue
Thickening which feels different from the surrounding tissue can even occur in the early stages of breast cancer development. For example, the skin over the breast area may become red, dimpled, or appear pitted—it might look similar to the outer skin that covers an orange.
If this cancer is detected early it is the best hope of surviving. It becomes extremely important to do routine self-exams of the breasts to identify any lumps, also annual checkups and mammograms become very essential to stay safe.