Breast cancer is the result of cells in the breast growing out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that is visible on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is cancerous if the cells invade tissues or spread throughout the body. Although it can appear in men, breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women.
It’s important to be aware of how your breasts look and feel normally. The earlier the cancer is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment.
Perhaps the best-known symptom of breast cancer are the lumps or the nodes inside the breast or underarm area, but warning signs can vary between patients. Here are some of the other signs of breast cancer that may be overlooked.
Changes in breast size and shape
This will commonly involve an increase in size or a change in shape of either one or both breasts.
General pain in/on any part of the breast
Be wary of pain in a specific area that does not go away.
Skin changes on the breast
Look out for skin changes in one or both breasts. These might include swelling, redness, darkening, dimpling or other visible differences. Take note of any prominent veins on the surface of the breast.
If you have sudden nipple discharge other than breast milk, consult a medical professional immediately.
Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples
Pay attention to any sores or rashes on the nipple, or if the nipple is beginning to turn inward.
Knowing these symptoms do not take the place of regular mammograms or other screening tests. An examination can help find breast cancer in its early stages before any symptoms begin to appear.