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What Are The Earliest Symptoms Of Breast Cancer?

Although breast cancer doesn’t show clear symptoms in the early stage, timely detection can become a survival story.

If there is anything that takes women’s life the most, its’ breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The chance that a woman will die out of breast cancer is 1 out of 39, which is about 2.5%.

While it is difficult to find early symptoms, the most common symptom of breast cancer is the formation of lumps in the breast.

It is a painless cell mass that has irregular edges. However, the hardness is not constant. Doctors have seen soft cell masses that are round, tender, and sometimes even painful.

If you ever find any necessary changes in your breast, it is advisable to seek an expert’s guidance. They will help you detect breast cancer early with screening.

Early Signs of Breast Cancer

Early Breast Cancer Signs And Symptoms

Early Breast Cancer Signs And Symptoms

Breast cancer for different people has different symptoms. In fact, most dn;t even notice the signs and symptoms. 

Below we have discussed early symptoms you need to keep an eye on.

Breast Appearance Changes

Breast Appearance Changes

Breast cancer can cause changes in the appearance of the breast. You might find a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm. The lump may feel hard, irregular, or different from the surrounding tissue.

Breast cancer also affects the size of the breast. It changes the size or shape of the breast. Breast cancer can cause one breast to become larger or smaller than the other or to change shape.

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With the change in breast size, you might experience dimpling or puckering of the skin of the breast. Breast cancer can cause the skin of the breast to look dimpled or puckered as if an orange peel.

Furthermore, breast cancer can cause swelling of the breast and rashness. Because of the swelling, you might feel pain and experience discomfort in the breast or underarm.

It’s important to note that not all changes in the appearance of the breast are caused by breast cancer, and many of these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions such as fibrocystic breast changes or cysts.

However, any unusual changes in the breast should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible.

Nipple Changes

Sometimes there are no changes in the breast but in the nipples. The nipple or the small area around the nipple can be affected. When a person is suffering from breast cancer, the nipple changes. 

Keep an eye on the following changes.

  • Nipple discharge: Breast cancer can cause the nipple to discharge fluid, which can be clear, yellow, or bloody.
  • Inverted nipple: Breast cancer can cause the nipple to become inverted or pulled inward.
  • Nipple retraction: Breast cancer can cause the nipple to be pulled back or away from the breast.
  • Nipple scaling or crusting: Breast cancer can cause the nipple to become scaly or crusty.
  • Nipple pain: Breast cancer can cause pain or discomfort in the nipple.

Formation Of Lumps

The formation of lumps in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer. Lumps caused by breast cancer may feel hard, irregular, or different from the surrounding tissue.

They may also be painless. The lump may be visible on the surface of the breast or felt during a self-exam or breast exam by a healthcare professional.

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Other symptoms, such as changes in the shape or size of the breast, or nipple discharge, may accompany some breast lumps.

It’s important to note that not all breast lumps are cancerous and can be caused by various non-cancerous conditions, such as fibrocystic breast changes or cysts.

However, any unusual changes in the breast or formation of lumps should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible.

A diagnosis can only be made by a healthcare professional, who will typically perform a breast exam, imaging tests such as mammography or ultrasound, and possibly a biopsy to determine the nature of the lump.

Breast Cancer Types and Symptoms

Breast Cancer Types and Symptoms

There are two main types of breast cancer: invasive (or infiltrating) breast cancer and non-invasive (or in situ) breast cancer.

Invasive Breast Cancer

Invasive breast cancer, also known as infiltrating breast cancer, is a type of breast cancer that begins in the milk ducts or lobules of the breast and spreads to surrounding tissue.

This type of cancer can grow into nearby lymph nodes and potentially to other body parts through the bloodstream or lymph system.

Not all breast lumps are cancerous, and many breast changes are caused by non-cancerous conditions such as fibrocystic breast changes or cysts. However, any unusual changes in the breast should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible.

Non-Invasive Breast Cancer

Non-invasive breast cancer, also known as in situ breast cancer, is a type of breast cancer confined to the breast’s milk ducts or lobules and has not spread to surrounding tissue.

The most common type of non-invasive breast cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which starts in the milk ducts.

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It’s important to note that not all breast lumps are cancerous, and many breast changes are caused by non-cancerous conditions such as fibrocystic breast changes or cysts.

However, any unusual changes in the breast should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible. It’s also worth noting that DCIS is considered a precancerous condition, which could progress to invasive cancer if not treated.

Breast Cancer Recurrence

Once you have been successfully treated for breast cancer, there is always a possibility for it to return. Experts call it Breast Cancer recurrence.

Breast cancer recurrence refers to cancer returning after a period of remission. This can occur in the form of a local recurrence, where cancer comes back in the same breast, or a distant recurrence, where cancer spreads to other body parts. 

Factors that can increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence include the type and stage of original cancer and certain characteristics of the patient, such as age and hormone receptor status. 

To reduce the risk of recurrence, doctors may recommend radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.

It is important for patients to work closely with their oncologist to monitor for any signs of recurrence and develop a plan to address it if it does occur.