Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Posted by ATMAJA'Z

A worrisome breast lump is usually what provokes a woman to see a doctor, but there are several other symptoms that can be caused by breast cancer. Breast cancer symptoms can include:
  • a breast that feels warm to the touch
  • nipple that becomes inverted that was not inverted before
  • skin on or around breast is dimpled or has an appearance similar to an orange peel
  • skin on breast that is red or blotchy
  • sudden increase in breast size that is not related to menstrual cycle
  • nipple discharge (clear or bloody)
  • nipple pain or scaly nipples
  • persistent breast pain or tenderness that is unrelated to menstrual cycle
  • swelling of the lymph nodes of the armpit
  • a breast lump, swelling, or mass

These are symptoms of breast cancer that can be seen or touched, but there are instances in early breast cancer where there are no symptoms that can be detected by physical examination. Imaging tests like mammograms and MRI can detect breast abnormalities that cannot be seen by the eye or by the touch.

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Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

Regular breast cancer screening can reveal breast abnormalities that require additional testing. Some women detect breast abnormalities through breast-self exams at home or through a clinical breast exam by their doctor. Most breast abnormalities are found through mammography. Only 10% of symptoms are initially found through physical exam. The remaining 90% are detected through a mammogram, proving just how vital it is to have a regular mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends that women begin having an annual mammogram beginning at age 40. Women who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer may be recommended to begin screening earlier.
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If you are experiencing breast cancer symptoms or a screening mammogram reveals an abnormality, then further testing is done to determine if breast cancer is present and what stage the disease is in. Further testing methods used to diagnose breast cancer include:

  • diagnostic mammogram
  • breast MRI
  • breast ultrasound
  • ductogram
  • ductal lavage
When imaging tests reveal an abnormality, a breast biopsy may then be done. A biopsy involves the doctor removing a small amount of breast tissue that is then studied under a microscope.

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