This month is breast cancer awareness month, so we are taking this time to educate you about the early warning signs of breast cancer. Here are some statistics about this form of cancer:
- Approximately 1.7 million new breast cancer cases were diagnosed worldwide in 2012.
- It is the 2nd most common cancer among both men and women, around the world.
- Breast cancer consists of about 1 in 4 of all cancer cases diagnosed among women.
- Mortality rates of breast cancer has increased by 14% around the world.
Breast cancer is a form of cancer that develops in breast cells. It tends to start in the inner lining of milk ducts or lobules, but once it becomes malignant it can spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer symptoms vary among women. The general signs include nipple discharge, changes in the feel or look of the breast, or a change in feel or look of the nipple. Learn about 10 early warning signs of breast cancer. If you have any or all of these signs, please consult a doctor.
Early Warning Signs of Breast Cancer
- Redness or darkening of the breast
- Swelling or warmth of the breast
- Change in breast shape or size
- Hard knot or lump present inside the breast or underarm area
- Itchiness on the nipple area
- Rash on the nipple
- Dimpling (formation of dimples) on the skin
- Sudden nipple discharge
- Nipple or other parts of your breast pulling in
- Pain resonating from one spot in the breast region
These signs may not always be cancer, however, it is best to have a check-up with a physician if any of these signs are present. The chances of surviving is much higher when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage.
Generally, breasts can have a lumpy texture, vary from between one woman to another. Sometimes hard lumps can be a benign breast condition such as fibroadenoma or a cyst. If you find new lump that feels slightly different from the other lumps in your breast, it is best to consult a doctor.
Nipple discharge all of a sudden can be a disturbing sign. However, it may not always be breast cancer. It is normal when associated with menstrual hormone changes. Discharge can continue for up to two years after breast-feeding. It can be a serious problem if nipple discharge occurs without squeezing the nipple or if it present only in one breast. It is also a warning sign if the discharge is bloody rather than clear or milky.