All women are at risk for developing breast cancer. Some women are at a higher level of risk as a result of genetics or other risk factors. Whether high risk or low risk, knowing the symptoms of breast cancer can help you know when it is time to visit your doctor.
Cancer is easiest to treat while it is still small and has not spread. Once cancer has spread into surrounding tissues or other parts of the body, successful treatment becomes increasingly challenging. Breast cancer spreads through the lymph system (immune system), so earlier diagnosis and treatment will give you a better chance of successful treatment and recovery.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breasts change over time. Many of these changes are natural, such as ageing, having children, or gaining or losing weight. Some medications can also affect the way your breasts may feel.
The symptoms of breast cancer may vary from person to person. Some women have naturally lumpy-feeling breasts. By familiarizing yourself with the way your breasts look and feel, you will be better equipped to notice any changes that may occur. The following list includes common symptoms of breast cancer.
Symptoms of breast cancer include:
Pain in the breast
Changes in the shape or size of the breast
Changes in the color of the breast
Changes in the direction that the nipple faces
Nipple pulling inwards
A new lump in the breast or under the arm
Thickening or swelling of breast skin
Dimpling (puckering) of breast skin
Enlarged lymph nodes in the underarm
Skin redness or irritation
Discharge from the nipples, especially if it is bloody
Everyone is different, and only you know what is normal for your body. By familiarizing yourself with how your breasts normally feel, you can quickly identify any changes.
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer. Not all lumps in the breast are dangerous. The signs and symptoms of breast cancer sometimes overlap with other non-cancerous conditions such as cysts or benign breast tumors. Benign tumors do not spread and are not dangerous. Cysts may create hard lumps beneath the skin, but these are also not cancerous.
Visit your doctor if you notice any pain or unusual changes in your breasts. Your doctor will be able to identify the exact cause of the symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment.
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Serving Anderson & Greenville SC, and Surrounding Areas
We welcome patients and family from all over the world, but mostly those living within a hundred-mile radius of Anderson and Greenville, South Carolina.
AnMed Health & Blue Ridge Radiation Oncology are charter members of Levine Cancer Institute's cancer care network. Carolinas HealthCare System's Levine Cancer Institute aims to build "a cancer institute without walls," by increasing access to specialist consultations, research offerings, program offerings and services to member institutions throughout the Carolinas.