Breast Cancer is among the most popular types of cancer. According to the America Cancer Society, 41, 760 women will die of breast cancer in America in 2019. In their Publication; Cancer Facts and Figures 2019, the America Cancer society expected 271, 270 new cases of breast cancer in America in 2019. The breast cancer menace can be treated when it is diagnosed in its early and treatable stages.
Breast cancer treatment
Breast Cancer treatment depends on what type of cancer it is, and how far it has spread. The most common ways include surgery which may involve cutting of the entire breast, which is commonly referred to as mastectomy.
Other ways include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy, and hormonal therapy, which inhibit the cancer cells from obtaining the hormones they need to spread, grow, and
Breast cancer diagnosis
There are several breast cancer diagnosis methods. These include:
- Breast ultrasound. Ultrasound relies on sound waves to show images of different
body structures. Ultra-sound is used to determine whether a lump in the
breast is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass.
- Breast examination, whereby the doctor feels the breasts for the presence of any abnormalities. This process also involves checking of the lymph nodes to detect any weird growths or occurrences.
- Mammogram. In the common language, a mammogram can be referred to as the x-ray of the breast’. The screening is used to detect whether a patient has cancerous cells or not. If anything unusual is detected during mammogram, your doctor may recommend other appropriate evaluation tests.
- Biopsy. A biopsy involves extracting a sample of breast tissues and examining it. The biopsy is regarded as the most appropriate way of diagnosing breast cancer. During a biopsy, a specialized needle steered by an imaging machine such as x-ray to obtain breast cells from the region that is suspected to be having the cancerous cells. The samples are used to determine whether or not the patient has cancerous cells. If the cells are present, the samples may also be used to determine the stage of cancer.
- In most cases, a small marker is left in the region where the cells were obtained. This helps in making future imaging of the suspicious area a lot easier.
- Breast magnetic resonance imaging. Magnetic resonance imaging employs magnetic waves and radio waves to produce images of the interior of your breast. The images may be used to detect the presence of any abnormalities in your breasts.
Despite being the most invasive kind of cancer in women, the survival rates of breast cancer are highly rising. It is easier to survive when the cancer is diagnosed in its early stages. Unfortunately, what women look for is the presence of lumps in the breasts. Well, lumps are one of the most popular early warning sign of breast cancer, but there is more to it. There are a lot of other early warning signs of breast cancer.
In some cases, breast cancer may not exhibit any symptoms while still in the early stages. In this case, breast cancer diagnosis from your doctor works best. Some of the first symptoms of breast cancer are as discussed below.
10. Nipple discharge
Discharge from the nipple is one warning sign that may indicate breast cancer. This, of course, does not apply to breastfeeding mothers. The discharges vary in color. It may be clear, white, cream, red, or greenish. It may also be thin or thick. However, discharge from the breast does not always signify that you have cancerous cells.
There are several other infections or side effects of drugs that may result from discharging of the nipples. Quickly seek doctor’s attention whenever you have discharge from breasts.
A slight depression or emergence of a dimple-like structure may signify an inflammatory type of cancer. Cancer cells result in an accumulation of lymph fluid that may lead to dimpling. The dimples are caused when the lumps pull in the skin and flesh, resulting in an indentation.
The dimpling is professionally referred to as peau d’orange (French for Orange peels) because the dimple largely resembles and feels like the peels of an orange. The dimples may be visible or not. Lifting your hands above the breasts and scrutinizing your breast makes it easier for one to notice the depression. Every woman should quickly consult their doctor when they experience dimpling and the peau d’orange feeling on their breasts.
8.Breast and nipple pain
Experiencing pain in your breast and nipples is not something normal. Breast cancer cells cause changes in the skin, resulting in discomfort in the breasts, pain in either the nipples or breasts or both, and tenderness in the breast.
In some cases, it may occur as a burning sensation in the nipples or breasts. Breast cancer is often painless. You should, however, never ignore any pain as it may be a sign of the cancerous cells. Visit your doctor any time you feel any pain in your breasts.
7.Retraction or inversion of the nipples
If you see or feel any changes in or around your nipples, it may be an early warning sign of breast cancer. The change may be in size or appearance. The nipples may sink inwards. In case you experience any unfamiliar changes in your nipples’ appearances, quickly seek
The appearance of the nipples may change during some stages in ovulation or pregnancy and breastfeeding. But if it’s an unfamiliar change, do not hesitate to visit your doctor.
6.Discoloration of the skin
Discoloration of the skin around your breast or on your breast can be an early warning sign of breast cancer. In most cases, the discoloration is usually red. It may appear like you are bruised.
It may also appear as blue or purplish tints on the surface of your breast. Seek professional diagnosis whenever you spot weird discoloration on your breasts.
It is sometimes common for one of the breasts to be bigger than the other. However, the size difference is often minute that it may go unnoticed in most cases. However, the accumulation of the lymph fluid may cause one breast to be noticeably bigger than the other. It also results in tightening of the skin around the breast. If you notice any weird change in the usual size of your breast, seek doctor’s attention.
4.Changes in the lymph nodes
Changes in the lymph nodes may also indicate the presence of cancerous cells. Small and tender lumps and swellings under the armpits or around the collarbone may be a warning sign for breast cancer. When the cancer cells are filtered from the breasts, they often move under the armpits or around the collarbone, usually on the side of the affected breast. The lumps are usually small and firm, but sometimes tender to touch.
3.Changes in skin texture
Changes in your skin texture should be a warning sign that may indicate breast cancer. The cancerous cells cause inflammation, which often results in weird changes in skin texture.
These changes may include the appearance of scaly and dry texture, especially around the nipples and areola. The area may appear like it is sunburned. The skin may also appear thick in any parts of the breast.
Changes in skin texture may indicate suffering from Paget’s disease, a rare type of breast cancer.
2.Clearly visible veins on the breast
Breasts are often tender, and you would barely see veins cutting across its surface. However, when veins start protruding on the surface of your breast, be sure to visit your doctor for a check-up. It is uncommon for veins to clearly appear on the breast surface, and it may be an indication of the presence of cancerous cells.
The veins may be visible up to the arms and the collar bones. Pronounced veins can appear when breastfeeding, or when there is blockage of blood vessels. When you are not breastfeeding, and you notice the appearance of veins, visit a doctor.
Lumps in your breasts or regions close to your breasts are the most popular early warning sign for breast cancer. You will not always see the lumps. This is why you need to feel and touch your breasts and areas around it, just in case there are any lumps. The lump may appear on the surface of the skin, or it may not. Regularly observe and feel your breasts for any lumps. The lumps often appear on either side of the breasts. However, they may appear deep in the flesh.
When you notice any of the above-discussed signs and symptoms, there is no reason to panic. Seek doctor’s attention, and let the professionals carry out the required tests and examination. These symptoms are not always correct and do not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer. The doctors’ examinations are the most appropriate ways to determine whether you have cancerous cells or not.
In conclusion, do not hesitate to seek a doctor’s attention whenever you notice anything unusual or weird changes with your breasts. Regularly check your breasts, because when the cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, it is easily treatable. Know how your breasts
feel and look like, this way, you will have an easier time spotting any abnormality and weird changes.