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Early Signs of Breast Cancer

September 8, 2022 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team


Although breast cancer generally shows no symptoms in the early stage, timely detection can improve your chances of beating this deadly disease. A breast lump is the most common presenting symptom. But for about 1 in 6 women with breast cancer, the broad spectrum of symptoms doesn't include a lump.

In this article, we'll mention the early signs of breast cancer and describe some treatment options.

Early Warning Signs of Breast Cancer

Early on, a person may notice a change in their breast when they perform a monthly breast exam or when minor abnormal pain doesn't seem to go away. Early signs of breast cancer include:

  • Changes in the shape of the nipples.
  • Breast pain that doesn't go away after your next period.
  • A new lump that doesn't go away after your next period.
  • Nipple discharge from one breast that's clear, red, brown, or yellow.
  • Unexplained redness, swelling, skin irritation, itchiness, or rash on the breast.
  • Swelling or a lump around the collarbone or under the arm.
  • A lump that's hard with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous.

Later Signs of Breast Cancer

Later signs of breast cancer include:

  • Retraction, or inward turning of the nipple.
  • Enlargement of one breast.
  • Dimpling of the breast surface.
  • An existing lump that gets bigger.
  • An "orange peel" texture of the skin.
  • Poor appetite.
  • Unintentional weight loss.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit.
  • Visible veins on the breast.

Treating Breast Cancer

Depending on the type and stage of cancer, treatments can vary. Here are some common practices doctors and specialists use to combat breast cancer:

  • Lumpectomy

    A lumpectomy is when your doctor removes the tumor while leaving your breast intact.

  • Mastectomy

    A mastectomy is when your doctor surgically removes all of your breast tissue including the tumor and connecting tissue.

  • Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy is the most common cancer treatment, and it involves the use of anticancer drugs. These drugs interfere with cells' ability to reproduce.

  • Radiation Therapy

    Radiation therapy uses radiation beams to treat cancer directly.

  • Hormone Therapy

    Hormone therapy can be used when hormones or HER2 play a part in cancer's growth.

Summary

Early detection and treatment are key factors in the success of any cancer treatment. Detecting breast cancer at the earliest stage makes treatment easier and usually cures it. Knowing how to recognize breast cancer warning signs and risk factors is important. Detecting breast cancer early is the most effective way to fight it.

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