Cancer treatment is about timing. Since the disease is very progressive, the earlier a patient receive treatment, the higher possibility to cure cancer. That explains why women should recognize the breast cancer symptoms as early as possible.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer found among women cancer patients worldwide. World Cancer Research Fund International revealed that in 2012 alone, there were 1.7 million new patients. Worse, the number of patients increases each year.
Before it’s too late, always recognize these early stage symptoms.
The most common breast cancer symptom is a lump in the breast or area under the armpit. However, in most cases, the lump isn’t cancer but a fluid-filled cyst. Almost 90% of women who find the lump on their breast isn’t diagnosed with cancer but a benign lump.
A cancer lump is usually firmer and more irregular in shape than a cyst. However, it’s suggested to take examination such as a simple mammogram to diagnose whether the lump is a cyst or cancer.
2. Skin changes
The next symptom usually appears the skin changes. The kinds of change vary depending on each patient, but generally, the change appears as redness, rash, dimpling, puckering, or change in texture. Women must recognize any change happens to their breast. Examine your breasts by feeling, touching, or looking at them in the mirror.
3. Breast pain or discomfort
The next breast cancer symptom is the breast pain or discomfort. Women often feel the pain or discomfort during menstruation or pregnancy. However, if they feel the same when it isn’t their menstruation or pregnancy days, beware of breast cancer.
Unlike the cyclical breast pain, the pain caused by cancer is very persistent and worsening each day. The pain isn’t on the whole breast but only a specific small area on your breast. If this happens, don’t take a painkiller but see the doctor because postpone doing so can be dangerous for your health.
4. Leaking fluid from your nipples
Unless you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s abnormal to have fluid leaking from your nipples. Watery or thick, clear, or white fluid, it’s all abnormal. This abnormality is also a symptom of breast cancer.
Aside from the leaking fluid, the position of nipples of women with breast cancer also changes. The nipples can sink into the breast so that they look different from usual.
5. The change of size and shape of the breast
The breast with the cancer cells on it will change in size and shape. The breast becomes bigger and feels lumpy. However, it’s normal for a woman to have asymmetric breasts. If the different size is normal to you, you don’t need to worry. What you need to recognize is whether the size and shape are so different than they were previously.
The five symptoms of breast cancer above should be recognized as soon as possible. Go to a doctor if you find one of those symptoms above so that it won’t be too late to get treatment if you’re diagnosed with cancer.