Breast cancer is a potentially fatal condition that affects the cells in the breast. This type of cancer is more commonly seen in women, although men can also be diagnosed with it. Like most forms of cancer, breast cancer isn’t completely curable, but the many forms of treatment can help reduce and control its painful symptoms. Spotting early warning signs is extremely useful in ensuring better treatment and management of breast cancer.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the early indicators of breast cancer that shouldn’t be ignored at any cost.
Lumps in the breasts or underarm
Lumps can form in the breasts due to various reasons. However, if they persist over time, it’s advisable to seek medical advice since it’s commonly seen in breast cancer patients. Cancerous lumps in the breast of underarm are usually painless, hard, and have uneven edges. If the lumps fit this description, irrespective of their size, have it checked by your doctor.
Swelling in the armpit
Swelling in the armpit or near the collarbone is another early warning sign of breast cancer. It happens because the cancer cells spread to the lymph nodes, causing them to harden. That being said, swelling in the armpit could also be caused due to a normal infection. It doesn’t necessarily mean breast cancer. Consult your doctor to know the exact reason for the swelling.
Changes in the breast
As the cancerous cells grow and multiply, they begin taking more space and disturb the structure of the breast. This leads to changes in the texture of the breasts, and their size may also reduce. Some parts of the breast start looking different from others, with certain marble-like areas forming under the skin. These changes are classic symptoms of breast cancer, and must be reported as early as possible.
Breast cancer can often trigger unusual nipple discharge. The liquid can be clear, milky, or bloody and passes through without squeezing or any effort. The discharge usually starts out of nowhere and happens from one breast or both.
While such discharge doesn’t necessarily mean presence of cancerous cells in the breast, it is a cause for concern if you’re experiencing it for the first time. Immediate treatment is required to solve the problem.
Pain and tenderness in the breasts
If you experience any pain or discomfort in the breasts, it’s best to visit your doctor. Sometimes, the lumps can be painless. But in some cases, the cancerous cells can cause discomfort to the underlying tissues.
Swelling of the breasts
Breast cancer leads to tenderness and abnormal swelling of the breasts. This is one of the early warning signs of breast cancer as it has been reported on countless occasions. The swelling is even more prominent during menstruation, usually lasting up to multiple days. If this keeps happening on a regular basis, you should report this to your doctor for immediate diagnosis and treatment.
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