Breast Cancer can be detected in many different ways. Many people are only aware of one symptom which is to check for an abnormal lump or bump that sticks out around the breast tissue area. This lump in some cases can be soft instead of hard or rounded instead of irregularly sized or can also be even painful. Along with that, there are 7 common signs of breast cancer, which tend to be ignored because they don't fit the most known description.
What are the most common signs for Breast Cancer?
1. Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or around the collarbone.
There can be many reasons for this symptom but it is also an indication for cancer. Breast tissue covers not only the area into the collarbone but also the area under the arms. Cancer can sometimes spread to the lymph nodes in those areas even before the original tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt. If you see any swelling like this make sure to contact your health care provider to check the reason for the swelling.
2. Swelling of all or part of the breast.
There can also be an instance where you may not feel the lump or mass, but you notice your breast swelling abnormally. There's a difference between growth and swelling. If your breast is swelling it may take seem red, abnormal growth (swelling), itchy, or tender to touch.
3. Skin irritation or dimpling.
Skin irritation or dimpling is often compared to an orange peel. The skin begins to texture and looks and feels a lot similar to an orange peel. Of course, this is not always the symptom of breast cancer but it may be related to IBC (inflammatory breast cancer). This could be rare but this would be an aggressive type of condition which commonly is confused being an infection.
4. Breast or nipple pain.
Breast and nipple pain is a common symptom when one has breast cancer. Although tumors are not usually painful, nipple pain caused by cancer is often felt in only one breast.
5. Nipple retraction
During this time you may feel like the skin on your breast is being pulled inward. You may notice that your nipple is being pulled inward to. This is caused by tight connective tissue or other ductal system connected to the nipple. Some people are born with inverted or retracted nipples which can also occur later in life, its called acquired nipple inversion.
6. Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
Breast cancer commonly causes changes and inflammation in the skin cells which can lead to some texture changes, such as scaly skin or thickening. Scaly skin can occur around the nipple as if the skin is sunburned or extremely dry. Abnormal skin thickening can occur in any part of the breast. These skin changes can associate with a rare type of breast cancer called Paget's disease
7. Nipple discharge.
Discharge can be anything other than breast milk, which tends to occur without the breast being squeezed. It's completely normal for people who are breastfeeding to have milky discharge but if you notice any other discharge it is best to contact your doctor.
What do I do if I find see any of these 7 signs?
Do not panic! If you find any of these signs or feel some abnormal change in any of your breasts make sure to contact your physician. Based on research by the American Cancer Society, four out of five biopsies of breast lumps are not cancerous
Make sure to, get an appointment with your doctor and get your breasts examined professionally.