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What are the first signs of breast cancer?
The first signs of breast cancer are usually small, and may not be noticed right away as something unusual. There are a number of signs which can be early warning symptoms that breast cancer may be a problem. Normally the first thing you may notice is a lump, and this is typically hard but does not have any pain or tenderness. Half of these lumps are found in the upper part of the breast, and most of the others occur near the nipple area although the lump can appear at any place in your breast tissues. Another sign you may notice is that your affected breast no longer seems asymmetrical with the other one. During your menstrual cycle you may notice lumps that go away within a short time, but lumps which are one of the first signs of breast cancer will not go away even after your menstrual cycle has ended.
Sometimes one of the first signs of breast cancer may be an abnormal shape, color, or feel to your nipple. Your nipple may start to retract or droop, and will change in appearance. Another symptom is the roughening of the skin on your breast, and this can affect your nipple tissue as well. Your skin may start to feel dry and scaly, and can even crack. Another symptom which can be common is a discharge from the nipple of the affected breast. You may also notice your breast skin has puckered and has taken on a dimpled appearance.
Some of the symptoms that can indicate the first signs of breast cancer can also be caused by harmless conditions as well. Many women get small lumps in their breast that are benign, and cancer is not the only condition that can cause skin changes or nipple changes. If you notice any unusual signs or changes in your breast tissue the best thing to do is to see your doctor. Explain the symptoms that you have noticed and allow a medical professional to evaluate the signs, and determine what is causing them. Early detection is important with all types of cancers, and this step can save your life if the symptoms are caused by breast cancer.
The best way to detect the first signs of breast cancer is with a regular breast exam. The best time to do this examination is right after your menstrual cycle has ended each month. This helps you remember when to perform the exam, and allows you to notice any unusual lumps or changes that are not normal in your case. As you perform the breast exam you will start to understand what lumps are usual, and which lumps are a cause for concern. It is important that if you notice any of the first signs of breast cancer you do not delay seeing a medical professional, because any delay could cause the treatment needed to be more extensive and invasive. Be aware of the usual feel and appearance of your breasts, and be vigilant in looking for any changes that are unusual.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Cancer Types25 Jun 2010|