Breast cancer is a type of cancer that is specific to the breasts. Although both men and women are susceptible to the condition, women are the main culprits. It is one of the three types of cancer that affect women with skin and ovarian cancer being the other two.
There are different types of breast cancer. Each type is name depending on which part of the breast it starts from. The different types of breast cancer include ductal, lobular, infiltrating ductal, medullar, infiltrating lobular, tubular mucinous, pagets and inflammatory breast cancer.
Of all the types, the ductal type of breast cancer is the most common. This type begins within breast duct cells from where it can spread to other parts of the breast and body if it is not addressed in good time.
Breast cancer is a major killer. This makes it necessary that you know some of the early signs it presents. This is important because effective treatment is only possible if it is detected when it starts to develop.
However, the initial signs do not cut across the board. The signs do not usually present themselves in the same way in all women. This is why it is important that you understand your body and in particular your breasts. This makes it easy for you to notice any usual change or changes the moment they occur. The following are the top 10 signs you need to watch out for.
Any form of swelling in your breasts should be a cause for concern. Although there are other factors that can cause your breasts to swell slightly, you need to consult your physician if in case you experience swelling and are not breastfeeding or pregnant. Your physician will be able to recommend appropriate tests to ascertain the exact cause of such swelling. You particularly need to be on the look out for a swelling accompanied by rashes on the breast.
This is usually one of the initial signs of breast cancer in most women. Your breasts literally become unusually warm and can be sore. It is also possible to notice your breasts turning either dark or become reddish in appearance. You need to give such changes the immediate attention required by consulting your physician.
3. Size and Shape
You definitely know the normal size and shape of your breasts, especially when not pregnant or breastfeeding. You are, therefore, able to tell if there is a change in size and shape. Such an occurrence should instantly alert you that something is wrong in your breasts. Consulting your physician should be your first move to understand what is happening.
It is perfectly normal to experience itchiness in your breasts. However, persistent itchiness, especially on the nipple(s) should prompt you to consult your physician. You should become more worried if the itchiness is accompanied by the appearance of scaly rashes on the nipple.
5. Breast Discharge
Although breast (nipple) discharge can be caused by an infection in the breast, you need to be alarmed when the discharge is either clear or bloody. You really need to be alarmed if the discharge occurs only from one breast. Breast discharge associated with breast cancer usually occurs without any touch or squeezing of the breast.
Pain in the breast is the other very first signs of breast cancer that is very common. The pain remains persistent and mostly emanates from one spot or area in the breast. The pain may or may not be accompanied by any form of swelling. Any feeling of such pain should prompt you to consult your physician.
7. Breast bumps
Although not a very common sign of breast cancer, you need to watch out for any development of small bumps on your breast. It is usually a clear sign of cancer. The bumps normally similar to bug bites and are in most cases tender to touch.
8. Unusual Breast lump
The development of a lump in either of your breasts should serve as a warning. Such occurrence should serve as a warning that development of breast cancer is in progress. This is because the development of a lump or lumps in the breast is one of the most common first signs. Although you are most likely to experience breast lumps before or after menstruation, you need to watch out for a lump or lumps that remain permanently and only shift when you touch them. Watch out for a pea-size lump that instantly moves to another location in your breast when you try to press it.
9. Persistent Upper Back Pain
Although not common, some women diagnosed with breast cancer report of experiencing back pain. The pain is particularly concentrated just behind the affected breast. The pain in some cases comes before any other sign. In such a case, the pain is caused by the developing tumor exerts pressure on both the spine and ribs.
You may not experience most of these first signs of breast cancer. Because of that, it is important to watch out (feel) for any unusual feeling under your armpits and your collarbone. This is because tissues of the breast extend to these areas and breast cancer can easily start from such locations.
It can be very devastating to be diagnosed with breast cancer. That is one good reason why it is important to know the first signs. Although these signs are also presented by such other conditions as benign breast conditions, you need to consult your physician if you experience any of them. This is particularly important in case you are from a family with a medical history of the condition.