When it comes to breast cancer, many people know that while it used to be more predominant in women, many men are increasingly contracting it too, and this is something to be concerned about (it still generally affects women more though). Breast cancer is a very serious condition, and it needs to be addressed quickly in order to keep it from spreading into the lungs, and other areas of the body. Of course a lump on the breast may (or may not) be a sign of breast cancer, but there are other warning signs. We’re going to go over eight of the most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer so you can possibly catch it early if you end up having it.
While you can have problems with nursing and pregnancy too, if there is no explanation for it, and you start to have scaly or dry, irritated skin around your nipple and areola (similar to the skin being sunburned), and the skin is very thick, this can be an early warning sign of breast cancer. Many people also state that these can cause itching too, and can be a problem of a rare form of breast cancer. If you have this problem, you may need medical attention, but it could also just be eczema, or even dermatitis, so you’ll want to get it checked out and treated anyway.
Discharge from the Nipples
Sometimes discharge can occur from your nipples for no reason, and it can be red (blood), or also have a greenish, milky, or even yellow color to it. Of course if you have breastfed or are breastfeeding (or pregnant), this is normal, so you need to talk to your doctor primarily if you see any other nipple discharge. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer though.
When you have inflammatory breast cancer, which can be severely aggressive, it can cause large pits and “dimples” in your breasts, which means that lymph node fluid is leaking into the breast and causing swelling. If your breasts become inflamed and you have dimpling, you want to speak to a doctor immediately. A lot of time too, the dimpled skin can resemble the outside of an orange peel.
Lymph Node Inflammations
While you may have other issues that are causing your lymph nodes in your armpits to be swollen, you need to rule out cancer too. That’s why you’ll want to make sure that you get it nipped in the butt quickly. However, you may have swollen lymph nodes if you are frequently sick, have cystic fibrosis, or other health problems (even a hernia can cause lymph node changes). Make sure you see a doctor though if you’re not just suffering a cold and have a large lump in your lymph nodes out of the blue.
Breast and Nipple Pain
This isn’t a sure-fire sign of breast cancer, as it is extremely common with other problems and things that a woman may suffer from. However, if you combine this with more than one or two of the symptoms in this list, you may want to get to a doctor as soon as possible.
Unexplained Nipple Disappearing
Okay, so your nipple isn’t really disappearing, but it can be “retracting” or becoming inverted for no reason. Some people are born with nipple inversion, but for those who aren’t, if you experience nipple inversion for no reason, especially if you can’t associate it with ovulation or other times of your menstrual cycle. Even women who are experiencing early stages of pregnancy can suffer from nipple inversion.
Irritation and Red Nipples
If your nipples are as red as Rudolph’s nose for no reason, or even if you nipples have no reason to look bruised, but appear to have a red, or even a blue or violet hue to them, you may want to seek medical advice quickly.
Because breast cancer can quickly affect all of the breast, most patients actually experience severe swelling of the breast. You may not see a lump or feel it, and a lot of times, you may even have a breast that is significantly larger than the other (even if your breasts are uneven), but for no reason. You need to contact your doctor especially if you’re feeling any of these symptoms, especially if they’re combined and you don’t have a reason for it. Even breast infections can cause many of this area of the body too.
Finding breast cancer early can greatly help keep you alive, but that’s just common sense. If you ever experience items on this list, you’ll want to get to a doctor and make an appointment as soon as possible. Hopefully for you, you won’t have to worry about it being breast cancer though.