You may not pay much attention to how your breasts look and feel, but it’s extremely important you do so if you have any hope of catching breast cancer early. The earlier breast cancer is caught, the much more effective treatment will be and survival rates will be higher.
If you’re worried about breast cancer and want to be in-the-know about the early warning signs you should be looking out for, check out the most common symptoms below:
1. Lump in the breast or underarm
If you notice a lump in your breast or underarm that doesn’t go away after menstruation, it’s important you get it checked out fairly quickly. This is often one of the very first signs of breast cancer. Even though the lump may be painless or have no sensation at all, it can still be cancerous.
2. Swelling in the breast or underarm
If you notice that there is swelling in the breast or underarm, it means that the breast cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the surrounding area. In some cases, swelling may appear before a lump does, but it could also be a sign of a more aggressive type of cancer known as inflammatory breast cancer.
3. Painful breasts
You may develop pain in the breast as a result of hormonal changes, but if the pain persists, then it could be an early warning sign of cancer.
4. Change in the nipple
Be aware of certain changes in the nipple, including:
- Sores developing
It may also be the case that you have some nipple discharge; which could be completely clear in colour, or even show signs of blood. While nipple discharge could be completely safe, there are occasions when it has been one of the earliest warning signs of breast cancer.
5. Breast changes
If you notice any changes in your breast whatsoever, it would be an idea to pay a visit to your GP to get a full examination. For example, you may notice that one breast is bigger than the other, the texture is different or perhaps one breast feels hot to the touch – all of these are early warning signs of breast cancer.
We hope this guide has given you some useful advice on what you should be looking out for when it comes to finding breast cancer early. Please do read our other blog posts for more useful information on living with breast cancer.