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Signs of Breast Cancer That You Need to Be Aware Of

Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women. This killer disease has a very high survival rate if detected early, but it needs to be constantly monitored. Unfortunately, nobody can tell if they have breast cancer unless they undergo regular medical checkups. Even then, there are no guarantees as medical conditions vary from one person to another.

However, some signs of breast cancer may manifest in individuals, and you need to watch out for those signs as an indication that you need to seek professional help immediately. Luckily, it can be treated if detected early. That means it’s essential for every woman to be familiar with the signs of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is categorized into stages: 

  • Stage 0- breast cancer is found in the ducts of the breast.
  • Stage I- the tumor is less than 2 cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage II- the cancer is between 2-5 cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes. 
  • Stage III- cancer has spread to the lymph nodes but not other organs. 
  • Stage IV- the tumor has spread to other organs.

Signs Of Breast Cancer

You should watch out for various symptoms, so learn about them and familiarize yourself with them to better prepare yourself against the possible onset of cancer cells. Since once you get it, you will have to undergo breast cancer surgery, be better safe than sorry. The most common symptoms of breast cancer are:

1. A Lump or Thickening In The Breast Tissue

A lump or thickening of the breast tissue is a common sign of breast cancer. It may not be a sure sign, but it should indicate that you need a second opinion. If there is a lump, go for a mammogram and send samples to the lab to determine if it’s benign or malignant. A bump can also be caused by other mild breast conditions such as cysts. You can detect it by conducting a self-examination of your breasts. However, it is always best to have it checked out by a professional to be sure.

2. Breast Pain

Perhaps one of the most common signs in general, pain in the breasts can be caused by several factors ranging from hormonal changes to infection. However, there are cases when this discomfort could be due to cancer cells in your body, so you should watch out for this symptom when you notice it. Aside from pain, women with breast cancer may also feel burning sensations in their chest area due to cancer cells spreading to the lower lungs.

3. Changes In Breast Size Or Shape

Changes in breast size or shape can be caused by an increase or decrease in body weight, but it’s also one of the symptoms of breast cancer, so you need to monitor this and watch out for other possible signs as well. Although changes in size and shape may not manifest overnight, they will become noticeable over time. Abnormalities like these should serve as a warning that something is off and needs medical attention right away.

4. Breast Skin Discoloration

Breast tumors can affect pigmentation in the body, causing skin discoloration. For example, some may get dark circles around their breasts due to increased blood flow around the tumor. It is usually an indication that something is wrong, and you need to get it checked out by a professional. Breast skin discoloration is also associated with aging and pregnancy, but if not taken care of, it can progress to cancerous cells. Look for changes in your skin color, such as lumps, redness, or scaliness.

 5. Nipple Discharge or Changes in Nipples

Typical factors like hormonal changes could cause nipple discharge or changes in nipples, but they also manifest as symptoms of breast cancer, so you need to watch out for them. Just like other indicators of this disease, if you notice any changes with your nipples, then go for a mammogram right away because it could be an early sign that you have breast cancer cells present in your body. This could be caused by infection or other benign conditions, but it could also signify breast cancer. If there is any discharge coming from the nipple aside from breast milk, consult a doctor immediately and have yourself checked for cancer cells.

6. Swelling In The Armpit Area

Breast cancer typically spreads to the lymph nodes before attacking the lungs, liver, or bones. If this is the case with your body, then swelling in the armpit area should be something that you pay close attention to. This symptom does not manifest overnight; most people don’t know it until they see lumps developing on one side of their underarm, which is often painful due to cancerous cells spreading there. It will feel like a hardball if you touch them, so always check yourself out now and then, especially on both sides of your body.

7. Bone Fractures That Are Difficult To Heal

Several conditions could bring about pain in the bones including fractures due to sports injuries, accidents, or other physical traumas. However, this sign could also be a symptom of breast cancer cells metastasizing, so if you experience any discomfort in your bones or have noticed any fracture that is taking too long to heal, consult your doctor right away. This pain may be accompanied by swelling and other symptoms such as fever and weight loss.

8. Itching Under mammary glands

While it is customary to scratch an itch now and then, it could be a sign of breast cancer if you are experiencing itching under your mammary glands. When cancer cells start to spread throughout the body, they can cause this sensation and skin rashes. The skin becomes sensitive so that the slightest touch can aggravate the itchiness underneath their breasts. This needs to be treated immediately before it worsens, so take note of this symptom and consult your doctor right away if you experience itching or feel like something’s crawling under your mammary glands. It’s best to consult a doctor to check if it’s just a minor skin irritation or something more serious that requires medical attention.

If you experience these symptoms, it’s essential to see your doctor right away. Early detection is vital in treating breast cancer. Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Be proactive and familiarize yourself with the signs of this disease. It could save your life.

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