Breast cancer can present with a variety of signs and symptoms. It’s important to note that not all cases of breast cancer will exhibit symptoms, and some symptoms may also be caused by benign (non-cancerous) conditions. However, being aware of potential early signs can help in early detection and prompt medical evaluation.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further assessment:
Lump in the Breast or Underarm: A new, painless lump in the breast or underarm area is a common early sign of breast cancer. However, not all lumps are cancerous, so it’s important to have any new lump evaluated by a doctor.
Changes in Breast Size or Shape: If you notice a change in the size, shape, or contour of one or both breasts, it could be a warning sign.
Unexplained Pain or Tenderness: While breast pain is not commonly associated with breast cancer, persistent, unexplained pain or tenderness in the breast or nipple should be evaluated.
Skin Changes: Changes in the skin of the breast, such as redness, dimpling, or puckering, can indicate an underlying issue. Some people describe the texture as similar to an orange peel.
Nipple Changes: Changes in the nipple, including inversion (when it turns inward), itching, scaling, or discharge (other than breast milk), can be concerning.
Nipple Discharge: Any discharge from the nipple, especially if it is bloody or occurs spontaneously, should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
Breast Swelling or Irritation: Swelling, redness, or irritation in the breast area that does not go away may require medical attention.
Nipple Pain or Sensitivity: While minor nipple sensitivity is common, persistent pain or sensitivity that doesn’t resolve should be investigated.
Changes in Breast Skin Temperature or Colour: Skin that feels warm, appears reddish, or has an unusual colour compared to the surrounding skin could be a sign.
Unexplained Weight Loss: Significant, unexplained weight loss could potentially be associated with advanced breast cancer or other health issues.
If you notice any changes in your breasts that concern you, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare provider. Early detection and timely medical attention can significantly improve outcomes in breast cancer treatment.