Breast Cancer Info
In a perfect world, we'd get prior warning when breast cancer was about to occur. An alarm would sound, a red flag would wave or we'd receive a letter in the mail. But the real world, unfortunately, isn't quite so thoughtful.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Early breast cancer presents no outward symptoms. There is no pain, and no warning. In fact, the only means of breast cancer diagnosis in its preliminary stage is by finding a lump or an abnormality. This can be done by performing breast self-examination, or by way of a yearly mammogram.
Most lumps that are found in the breast are not cancerous. However, it is essential to have a doctor examine the lump immediately.
Some women find that breast cancer is indicated by a bump above the collarbone or under the arm. This bump might be persistent, and then other symptoms of breast cancer may appear. These can include changes to the skin and surface of the breast, as well as nipple inversion or discharge.
Discharge from the breast is quite common and is rarely among symptoms of breast cancer. However, if there is blood in the discharge, or if it happens in only one breast, then a physician would be more concerned. Nipple inversion is also very common, but if it occurs suddenly, it should also be brought to the attention of your doctor.
If you notice swelling or redness of the breast, this might indicate an infection of the tissue. Quick treatment is advised for any type of infection. Similarly, if you find strong pain, redness, or swelling in your shoulder, armpit, or breast, seek the advice of your health care provider. Breast cancer treatment is mostly easily when it is detected early.
Where breast cancer is present, changes may occur to the skin such as redness, puckering and changes to texture. There are some skin diseases that may cause a similar effect, however it's important to have a professional consultation to rule out any possibility of cancer.
Breast cancer can take months or even years to develop. Once diagnosed, it's crucial to begin Breast cancer treatment immediately, as it is much more difficult to treat cancer once it has begun to spread throughout the body in what is called metastastic spread.
Signs of breast cancer
Some of the earliest signs of breast cancer can be detected by a mammogram test. Women over 40 should have this test done once per year. The test uses an electronic scanner to examine breast tissue. If something abnormal shows up, contact your physician to determine if it is something to worry about and seek treatment for.
In addition to a mammogram, manual examination and ultrasolography may also be used to detect abnormalities. A complete physical examination of the breast includes a visual inspection and palpitation, including the armpits and areas around the collarbone. Your health care provider may palpate for a lump or feel for a thickening in the skin. A biopsy, where a piece of the lump or tissue is removed, is the only definite method to test the cells and provide a positive diagnosis.
Here are some of breast cancer's most common symptoms:
* A lump in the breast, above the collarbone or under the arm, that stays for longer than a week
* Nipple discharge
* Changes to the nipples, such as inversion
* Changes on the breast's skin surface
During your regular self-examinations, if you find any of these symptoms, don't take a chance, but see your doctor as soon as you can to determine if what you have found requires treatment.