Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer: What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer Besides A Lump?
Paying heed to the early warning breast cancer signs will allow you to get the required treatment. If you are not sure where to start, listed below are some early breast cancer signs that you can look for:
Chest or Breast Pain as an Early Warning Sign of Breast Cancer
An ache, sharp stab, discomfort or pain in the chest or breast is not a good sign. One might also feel a mild electric sensation that usually travels from the left breast to the right nipple. A breast tumor can take various forms. A breast tumor can be a single lump or can be seed-like tumors extending into the tissue. A breast tumor can be found behind the nipple or in the milk ducts. These growths can cause discomfort and pain. It is pertinent to note that around 30% of breast cancer tumors are not necessarily lumps. This makes them difficult to detect. You will need to keep a tab on where, how and when the pain occurs. Give your doctor a call and give all the details. Ensure that the symptom is unlike other sensations experienced in the past. If you have been diagnosed with mastitis, then you may need to take antibiotics and follow the entire cycle. If the pain fails to go, ask your doctor for additional tests. Most women are told they have mastitis before they find out they have something else, such as a breast tumor.
Itchy Breasts can be an Early Warning Sign of Breast Cancer
Besides a lump, itching in the breasts can be a symptom of breast cancer. Itching in the breasts is mostly associated with inflammatory breast cancer. In fact, most women miss this sign of breast cancer. Your breasts will itch quite severely in inflammatory breast cancer. No ointment or medication will ease the itchiness. Rapidly growing breast cancer cells block the lymph and blood vessels, causing the itchiness in the breasts. The flow of lymph through breast tissues is hampered, leading to a fluid build-up under the skin. If the symptoms do not go away despite your doctor prescribing an ointment, make another visit soon, as itching in the breasts is an early warning sign of breast cancer.
Shoulder, Neck and Back Pain as an Early Warning Sign
One of the early breast cancer warning signs and symptoms will involve pain in the back or shoulders as opposed to the breasts. In fact, spine specialists try and look for tumors during treatment of chronic back pain that does not go away with physical therapy. Pain is usually felt in the upper back or between shoulder blades. You might mistake it for sore muscles, ligament tear or osteoarthritis of the spine. However, the pain does not dissipate when you stretch your muscles. A majority of breast tumors form in the breasts’ glandular tissue, which then extends deep into the chest and proximate to the chest wall. If the breast tumor pushes backward towards the spine and ribs, it will result in upper back pain. Breast cancer usually first spreads to the spine or ribs. Do not ignore back pain. Visit the doctor if the pain does not go despite physical therapy.
Change in Breast Size and Appearance as an Early Warning Sign
Not all breast tumors result in a hard lump near the skin’s surface. One of the symptoms of breast cancer besides a lump also includes change in the appearance of the breast. One of your breasts might have an odd shape to it. The change in the breast appearance may not be noticeable to you at first. In time, you might notice that your bra might not cup one breast properly. A change in breast appearance could result from tissue growth deep in the breast or covered by dense breast tissue. This could change the shape or size of the breast. If you have dense breast tissue, look out for this early warning sign of breast cancer. Study your breasts in the mirror for any noticeable changes. Raise your arms and check your breasts, then turn sideways and examine the breasts from both sides. If you notice a change in shape or size, bring it to the notice of your doctor.
Change in Nipples Sensitivity or Appearance as an Early Warning Sign
One of the common places for a breast tumor growth is just under the nipple. This could affect the appearance of the nipple over a period of time. Nipple changes could be an early warning sign of breast cancer in men. You may notice that one nipple might stick up less than it would before. Or, the nipple might have a flattened, inverted or indented shape. A decrease in nipple sensitivity is also an early warning sign that should not go unnoticed. Discharge when not breastfeeding is also an early warning sign of breast cancer. This apart, the skin of the nipple may develop a crusty or scaly exterior.
The milk ducts are usually the starting point of breast cancer. This alters the shape of the nipple while also causing discharge or pain. Tumors formed in the milk ducts tend to elevate the skin around the nipple or may push it to one side. The tumor may also cause irritation. Keep track of any noticeable changes before consulting your doctor. If antibiotics do not work, you should seek a second opinion.
Armpit Swelling can be an Early Warning Sign of Breast Cancer
If you experience pain in the armpit, it should compel you to check the area thoroughly. A hard lump in the armpit or under the arm and attached to the surrounding tissues should be cause for worry. The armpit lump may feel sore or tender. It will grow into a tumor in time. In some cases, the swelling is more noticeable under the collarbone.
Since breast cancer first develops in the lymph nodes, you tend to feel a lump under the arm. It should be noted that swollen lymph nodes can also be caused by a cold or infection. Wait for it to clear up. If it persists for more than a week, visit a doctor for a thorough check-up.
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