The warning signs of breast cancer can vary from person to person, but there are some common signs and changes to be aware of. It’s important to note that having one or more of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer, but if you notice any of the following changes, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation:
1. Lump or Thickening:
The most common sign of breast cancer is the presence of a new lump or a thickening in the breast or underarm area. These lumps may feel firm or hard and are often painless.
2. Change in Breast Size or Shape:
If one breast becomes noticeably larger or changes in shape compared to the other, it could be a sign of breast cancer.
3. Nipple Changes:
Changes in the nipple or nipple area can be a warning sign. Look for nipple discharge (other than breast milk), nipple inversion (turning inward), or changes in nipple texture, such as redness, scaliness, or dimpling.
4. Breast Skin Changes:
Changes in the skin of the breast, such as redness, swelling, dimpling (resembling the texture of an orange peel), or the appearance of a rash, should be evaluated.
While breast cancer is not typically associated with pain, some people may experience breast pain or discomfort as a symptom. It’s important to note that most breast pain is not related to cancer.
Keep in mind that breast cancer can also occur without any noticeable symptoms, which is why regular breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms are important for early detection.
If you notice any of these warning signs or have concerns about changes in your breasts, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and, if necessary, further diagnostic tests like mammograms, ultrasounds, or biopsies. Early detection can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment for breast cancer.