If the answer is yes to one or more of these effects, it’s important to see your healthcare professional immediately. Breast Cancer is the second highest killer of women the world over. An eighth of all women in the USA will develop breast cancer throughout the course of their life, with almost a quarter of a million new cases in 2016 alone.
Apart from lung cancer, breast cancer kills more women than any other cancer going and women over the age of fifty are more at risk, which is why they should be breast aware at twenty-five. Men are not exempt from breast cancer either, as one in a thousand will develop the disease.
Let us talk more about each of the aforementioned symptoms. Before we do just that, we must strongly state that these are merely a guideline and are not in any intended to be a diagnosis, so do not panic if you develop the symptoms. Any diagnosis should be made by a qualified doctor with the correct examinations, advice, and treatment. Without further ado, here are the symptoms again:
1. Change in breast size or shape
This could be a change due to periods, pregnancy, sexual arousal, or anything else that causes a shift in hormones. If it is not normal, you could be doing yourself a massive favour by checking it out further and catch the disease in the earliest of stages should there be a diagnosis.
2. Redness or a rash
It is on the skin and/or around the nipple and it remains. Do not be alarmed by something of this ilk if it goes or has gone away, the problem arises when it stays there. That could mean there is an underlying cause and you should definitely consult your doctor.
3. Nipple discharge
Such a discharge is a liquid of any colour coming out of the nipple without squeezing it or pressing it in any way. Again, you must ask yourself: “Is this normal with me?” If the answer is no, you already know where your next port of call should be, right? Then do it now!
4. Swelling in the armpit or around the collarbone
The lumps are always found in the breast, right? Wrong. In fact, breast tissue can be found under the armpit and up as far as the collarbone. While it is good to check for lumps in the breast, check the stated surrounding areas also for the same. Do not leave anything to chance!
5. Change in skin texture
Has the appearance of the skin been altered in some way? If you find any form of puckering, looking like the exterior part of an orange peel, or dimpling lately in that region, it is high time to have a little chat with your friendly doctor. Some women do not even know that this is a symptom of the potentially life-threatening disease.
6. An inverted nipple
This is a nipple that pulls inward, like an innie belly button. Everyone’s nipples are different and some are naturally inverted, but if a nipple has suddenly decided to make a move to the dark(er) side, you had better make that doctor’s appointment sooner rather than later.
7. Constant pain
This pain is a dull ache in the described area. Sure, it could be anything from your hormones to being struck in that area to a bra that is badly fitted. Nevertheless, if it lingers on there and never goes away, it would be prudent and wise to seek medical advice.