Watch for These 10 Breast Cancer Symptoms

Watch for These 10 Breast Cancer Symptoms

Watch for any of these 10 symptoms during your next self-exam and ensure you stay healthy.

Most people who have breast cancer symptoms and signs will initially notice only one or two, and the presence of these symptoms and signs do not automatically mean that you have breast cancer.

By performing monthly breast self-exams, you will be able to more easily identify any changes in your breast. Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you notice anything unusual.

Changes in how the Breast or Nipple Feels
1. Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area
2. A change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast (some describe this as similar to an orange peel’s texture)
3. A lump in the breast

It’s important to remember that all lumps should be investigated by a healthcare professional, but not all lumps are cancerous.)

Changes in the Breast or Nipple Appearance
1. Any unexplained change in the size or shape of the breast
2. Dimpling anywhere on the breast
3. Unexplained swelling of the breast (especially if on one side only)
4. Unexplained shrinkage of the breast (especially if on one side only)
5. Recent asymmetry of the breasts (Although it is common for women to have one breast that is slightly larger than the other, if the onset of asymmetry is recent, it should be checked.)
6. Slightly turned inward or inverted nipple
7. Skin of the breast, areola or nipple that becomes scaly, red or swollen or may have ridges or pitting resembling the skin of an orange


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Any Nipple Discharge — Particularly Clear or Bloody Discharge
It is also important to note that a milky discharge that is present when a woman is not breastfeeding should be checked by her doctor, although it is not linked with breast cancer.

When Should I Worry?
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer, but any breast cancer symptom you notice should be investigated as soon as it is discovered. If you have any of these symptoms, tell your healthcare provider so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated.

What if I Don’t Have Any Symptoms?
Although there’s no need to worry, regular screenings are always important. Your doctor can check for breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms. During your office visit, your doctor will ask about your personal and family medical history and perform a physical examination. In addition, your doctor may order one or more imaging tests, such as a mammogram.

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