Common Breast Cancer Symptoms

Breast cancer is common in women; in fact, one in eight women are diagnosed during their lifetime. By your 40s, you should begin having a yearly screening test to monitor your breast health. Screening tests such as mammograms could save your life one day by detecting the early stages of breast cancer.

Breast cancer begins when cells grow out of control in the lobules or the ducts of the breast. Lobules are the glands that produce milk, and ducts are pathways that bring the milk to the nipple. The fast-growing cancer cells often attack healthy breast tissue before traveling to other parts of the body.

There are two common forms of breast cancer [2].

The first form is invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) which develops in your breast’s milk ducts. The second form is known as invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) which develops in your lobules. If left untreated, both forms of breast cancer will spread to nearby organs and tissues.

It’s important to recognize abnormalities in your breasts to avoid the late stages of breast cancer.

The most common breast cancer symptoms to look for are [1]:

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

If you are noticing any of these symptoms, consult Dr. Hill OBGYN right away about a breast cancer screening test.

References

“What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?” www.cdc.gov

“Breast Cancer Types.” www.cancercenter.com

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