Medical Dictionary of Bone Cancer

C A N C E R  I N F O R M A T I O N



Breast Cancer Symptoms




Most every woman is concerned with breast cancer. After all, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in females. It is also the most fatal type of cancer in women. It is important that women understand breast cancer symptoms so they can monitor their health. It is important to note that very early breast cancer may have no obvious symptoms and it can be virtually pain free. Breast cancer symptoms usually only arise if the cancer is not detected and it is allowed to progress.

Since early breast cancer symptoms can be virtually non existent, it is important that women do self examinations. They should know the feeling of their own breasts so they can detect if there is anything abnormal going on in their breasts. Any type of lump or knot in the breast area or arm pit should be noted and a female should visit her doctor for testing. Luckily, mammography can detect changes in the breasts and lumps before they can even be felt. It is important that women get routine mammograms.

One of the first breast cancer symptoms that women report is finding a lump in their breast. The lump is usually painless. Other breast cancer symptoms include:

  • A breast that changes in shape or size
  • The breast starts to dimple
  • The breast tissue starts to thicken
  • A nipple may turn in or become inverted
  • The nipple may start to thicken due to a lump behind the nipple
  • The nipple may develop a rash.
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Lumps or swelling in the armpits

 

Many people are surprised to learn that pain is generally not a symptom of breast cancer. Many women experience the tenderness and soreness in their breasts prior to menstruation. So, they just assume that since the female breast is sensitive that if a lump were present they would be experiencing pain. This is not true. However, it should be noted that it is possible to have a painful lump in the breast, though that is generally not the case.

Women are encouraged to do breast cancer screenings. Mammography can catch breast cancer in its earliest stages and since its implementation it has reduced the mortality rate of breast cancer by 20 to 30 %. Women should get their first mammogram at the age of 35 and have one every two years after the age of 40. Once a woman is 50 years of age she should have a mammogram annually.

Women who have a family history of breast cancer should begin mammograms at earlier age. Females with a history of breast cancer in their family should take the diagnosis age of their family member and subtract ten years from that age. This would be the age a woman should start receiving her yearly mammograms. For instance, if a woman has a mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 40, it is generally recommended that the woman start receiving yearly mammograms at age 30.

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