Breast Cancer Symptoms & Signs
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Video: Addressing Breast Cancer SymptomsUnderstanding and identifying breast cancer symptoms are the first step toward an early diagnosis. Discover how to address these symptoms for early detection.
Addressing Breast Cancer Symptoms
Listen to Dr. Dennis Citrin explain how breast cancer is diagnosed, and the importance of fully investigating symptoms so detection can be made as early as possible.
Perhaps the most recognized symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass in the breast tissue. Although many women go to their doctor after finding a lump, they should also be aware of any other changes to the breast or nipple.
With the different types of breast cancer come a variety of related symptoms. For example, invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), which forms in the milk ducts, may cause a distinct breast lump that you can feel. Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), which forms in the milk-producing glands, may cause a thickening in the breast.
Common Breast Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of breast cancer vary from person to person. Some common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
- Skin changes, such as swelling, redness, or other visible differences in one or both breasts
- An increase in size or change in shape of the breast(s)
- Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk
- General pain in/on any part of the breast
- Lumps or nodes felt on or inside of the breast
Invasive Breast Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms more specific to invasive breast cancer are as follows:
- Irritated or itchy breasts
- Change in breast color
- Increase in breast size or shape (over a short period of time)
- Changes in touch (may feel hard, tender or warm)
- Peeling or flaking of the nipple skin
- A breast lump or thickening
- Redness or pitting of the breast skin (like the skin of an orange)
NOTE: These symptoms may be attributed to a number of conditions other than cancer. It is important to consult with a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis.
Understanding Breast Cancer Signs & Symptoms
If you notice any of the above-mentioned breast cancer signs or symptoms, particularly if you know you are included in an at-risk group, it is important to visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
Since the prognosis for breast cancer greatly improves the earlier breast cancer is detected, it is important to be aware of any changes in and around the breast. Also, talk with your doctor about the current screening guidelines and what is recommended for you.
Next Topic: Breast Cancer Diagnosis