Early Detection ChecklistCommon Symptoms of Breast Cancer
The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the greater your chances are of winning the battle. Breast cancer most often first appears as a painless lump in your breast or armpit. You or your partner may discover it, or your doctor or screening mammographer might find it during a check-up. Keep in mind that breast lumps are common in most women, especially just before your period, and most breast lumps are not cancerous.
Of course, it's better to be safe than sorry. Be aware of the most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer, get a yearly mammogram if you're over 40 and consult your doctor if you experience any changes that don't feel normal. The Canadian Cancer Society lists these common breast cancer symptoms:
- lump or swelling in the armpit
- changes in breast size or shape
- dimpling or puckering of the skin - thickening and dimpling skin is sometimes called orange peel
- redness, swelling and increased warmth in the affected breast
- inverted nipple - nipple turns inwards
- crusting or scaling on the nipple
If you notice any of these symptoms in your breasts, consult a doctor, but don't panic. Other health issues besides cancer can cause these symptoms. Your doctor will conduct the necessary tests to form an accurate diagnosis.
The key to winning the breast cancer battle is early detection - Stay alert, stay positive and stay proactive.