Perhaps one of the most well-known symptoms of breast cancer is having a mass or lump in the breast tissue.
With the different types of breast cancer, that means there are a variety of symptoms for women to watch out for. For instance, an invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) that forms in the milk-producing glands usually forms a thickening in the breast area, and an invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) that forms in the milk ducts causes a certain breast lump that a person can feel.
Early detection leads to proper diagnosis and chances of successful treatment. To help you determine whether that lump on your breast could be cancerous or not, below are but a few of the symptoms that tend to pop up.
The early warning signs
It is important to note that, the symptoms of breast tumours do vary from one person to the next. Some of the common signs include:
i. Skin changes in the breast is characterized with redness, swelling and diverse visible changes an individual can pick up as being abnormal
ii. Nipple discharge
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iii. Presence of nodes or lumps inside or on the breast
iv. Changes in the appearance of the nipples, it can be one or both
v. Changes in the size of the breast or breasts
vi. General pain on or in different parts of the breast
When cancer cells from inside the milk ducts breaks out into the surrounding breast tissue it is known as invasive breast cancer. Symptoms that are more specific to invasive breast cancer include:
i. Itchy or irritated breasts
ii. Increase in shape and breast size over a certain period of time
iii. Change in the colour of the breast
iv. Flaking or peeling of the nipple skin
v. Feels different when touched. It could be a feeling of warmth, tenderness and hardness
vi. A breast thickening or lump
However, it is critical to remember that some other factors or benign conditions might have caused the above mentioned changes. For instance, changes in the texture of the skin especially around the breast area as a result of the skin condition known as swollen lymph and eczema which is caused by infection or other illnesses could be the culprits. As such, it is of great significance to see a doctor conduct a thorough evaluation and determine whether the condition is a cause of concern.
Ductal Carcinoma Symptoms
The ductal carcinoma does not cause any symptoms. Rarely do women have nipple discharge and a feeling of any lump in the breast. On most occasions, one way to detect ductal carcinoma is through a mammogram. Hence the importance of getting yearly checks to help determine if or not you have.
This type of cancer does not have symptoms and cannot be seen through the use of a mammogram. The condition is usually found through a breast biopsy. When a woman has Lobular Carcinoma, the breast cell will appear abnormal.
Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms
Unlike the other types of breast cancer, this type of cancer does not cause breast lumps and rarely appears on a mammogram. For this reason, it is important to get tested just to be sure you are safe and free of it. The symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include:
i. The inverted nipple facing inward
ii. Burning, heaviness, or aching of one breast
iii. Swollen, red and itchy breast, tender to touch
iv. One breast is larger as compared to the other one
v. You can feel and see swollen lymph nodes under the arm or above the collarbone
vi. The breast’s surface may take on a pitted or ridged appearance, which is similar to that of an orange peel.
Apart from a mammogram, clinical breast exams and breast self-examination can fail to detect some type of cancers. Ultrasounds may also miss inflammatory cancers. Nevertheless, the naked eyes can see changes in the surface of the breast that is infected by an inflammatory type of breast cancer.
The symptoms can develop rapidly, and the progression of the disease is very fast. A person should report any sudden changes in the appearance or texture of the breast immediately to their doctor.
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