Nowadays most of the females are suffering from breast cancer. Breast cancer has certain signs and symptoms. As many of them are not familiar with these symptoms, their negligence takes them to the life-threatening consequences. In order to avoid this situation, this article helps you with brief illustration of what breast cancer is and its associated signs and symptoms.
What is Breast Cancer?
The cells in the breast show an enormous growth without any control. This overgrowth of the breast cells shows off as a lump and is a benign state. When it invades the surrounding tissues and starts spreading to the other areas in your body, it is a malignant state which is a severe form of this condition.
The most common type of breast cancer is ductal and lobular cancer. When you see the abnormal cell growth in the ducts which carry milk to the nipple is ductal cancer. The growth occurs in the glands that secrets breast milk is lobular cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer in Women
This section alerts you with the warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer which creates awareness among the females and aids them to identify the problem where they bind to.
1. Skin rashes and irritation on the breast
You may experience breast rashes and skin irritation at time, however, not all the breast rashes lead to a cancerous condition but it may be one of the early signs of breast cancer.
The skin irritation and rashes on the breast seem to be associated with inflammatory breast cancer symptoms. In this condition, you can see the tenderness on one side of the breast, itching sensation, skin thickening, nipple changes, redness and swelling in the breast with the red spot in it. It is an aggressive type of breast cancer where the tumor cells have an enormous growth.
2. Breast Pain
Breast pain is not only a symptom of cancer. This pain is accompanied by hormonal changes like pregnancy, breastfeeding, menstruation, menopause etc.,
If the female is affected by inflammatory breast cancer then she may experience breast pain. Normally the malignant state of breast cancer may not be painful. Only the breast tumor is painful.
3. Changes in the breast shape and size
Usually, breast swells during menstruation, pregnancy, lactating period and while using contraceptives but when you notice a remarkable growth in any one of the breasts which is asymmetrical then it’s mandatory to consult with the medical practitioner.
4. Breast lumps
Usually, cancerous breast lumps seem to be hard with irregular shape and edges. On palpation, you may feel a firm and solid lump which is fixed to the breast. These lumps may be painful or painless. The size of the lump varies from person to person. It may be a small peanut-sized and movable lump. Some of the lumps are fluid filled with some movements which roll in between the fingers.
5. Nipple Pain
The persistent pain in the nipple is to be noted and you need to have a look at it. The tenderness in the nipple is considered as the first symptom of the malignant state. Sometimes the nipple pain is also associated with mastitis and other infections.
6. Discharge from the nipple
This nipple discharge is one of the early symptoms of breast cancer but there are few differences in the type of nipple discharge that helps you out to know whether it is a benign or malignant condition.
If the discharge is spontaneous, it must be noted as an evidence of having spontaneous nipple discharge which leads to a malignant condition. Even the consistency varies from thick and viscous to a fluid texture.
The color of the nipple discharge may be red, clear, milky, yellow, green, brown or blood-colored. Of these colors, you must pay attention towards bloody or clear nipple discharge.
Also, observe whether the discharge is from a single or multiple spots. If it is from a single spot then it is most likely to be the cancerous condition.
So the immediate attention is sought if the discharge from the nipple is spontaneous, clear or bloody through a single spot.
7. Change in the nipple shape
Many other factors are also responsible for the nipple shape change. It includes temperature change, hormonal changes, and age. When the changes are sudden at a younger age which is not able to explain and worsens progressively then it needs medical attention.
8. Nipple lumps
Nipples may erect suddenly and it seems to be the normal response. This nipple erection may be resolved when the stimulus is removed. But when the lumps or bumps persist beneath the nipple then it is an indication of having an early stage of breast cancer.
Later signs of breast cancer
The below later signs indicate the growth of cancer cells interiorly.
1. Breast enlargement of one side.
Swelling of a breast is not a common symptom of breast cancer as it is caused by numerous factors. Mainly, persons with inflammatory breast cancer may experience breast enlargement. This breast enlargement occurs when there is a blockage of lymph vessels due to the metastasis of cancerous cells and that leads to the accumulation of lymph fluid in the breast causing breast enlargement.
2. Change in the texture of the skin.
The inflammatory type of breast cancer shows many changes in breast skin texture. This makes the breast swollen that is painful. You can see the thick texture of the breast skin with a heavy enlargement and the surface looks red, pink or purple with an increased warmth on the affected breast. It also shows a dimpled skin like an orange peel with a pit or indentations on the breast surface.
3. Nipple retraction and inward turning.
Nipple variations are associated with breast cancer. You can notice the inverted or retracted nipple. The inverted type appears to be indented and is not raised above the areola. Whereas, the retracted type is raised out and occurs unilaterally.
4. Occasionally you can feel pain in the vagina apart from the menstruation time.
5. Unexpected and involuntary weight loss is also an indication of having breast cancer.
6. Enlargement or growth of the lump will be seen during the later stages of breast cancer.
7. You can also see the visible veins on the breast.
8. Breast cancer is associated with the enlargement of the lymph node.
This article containing the warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer aids in getting awareness among females who are more prone to breast cancer.