Although receiving a breast cancer diagnosis is alarming, there is a good chance of survival if it is detected early. The American Society of Clinical Oncology claims, “In the United States, non-metastatic invasive breast cancer patients have a 90% 5-year survival rate. For women with non-metastatic invasive breast cancer, the 10-year survival rate is 84% on average. If the disease only affects the breast, women with invasive breast cancer have a 99% 5-year survival rate.
Sixty-five per cent (65%) of breast cancer diagnoses in women are at this stage. “Like other cancers, early detection is crucial, and awareness of the symptoms can save a life. Consume This, Not That! Board-certified family physician Dr Tomi Mitchell of Holistic Wellness Strategies gave Health five warning signs not to overlook. Continue reading and pay close attention to these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID to protect your health and the health of others.
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Never Skip Self Breast Exams
Dr Mitchell advises, “While no one likes to think about the possibility of breast cancer, the sad reality is that it is pretty standard. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives. And while early detection is key to increasing the chances of survival, many breast cancer cases are not caught until the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage. “This is why it is vital for women to be aware of the risks and to get regular mammograms starting at age 45. These simple steps can help protect yourself and your loved ones from this devastating illness. While most breast lumps are benign, it’s essential to be aware of the signs of cancer and to see a doctor if you notice any changes in your breasts. Here are five warning signs that you shouldn’t ignore.
A Lump Or Mass In The Breast
According to Dr Mitchell, there are various reasons why a breast lump could be an indication of breast cancer:
- Unlike benign cysts, which are softer and can alter position, malignant tumours are frequently complex and inflexible.
- While benign lumps often have a round or oval shape, malignant tumours appear uneven.
- Malignant tumours enlarge over time, whereas benign lumps maintain their size or even contract.
Even though not all breast nodes are cancerous, it is still essential to have any suspicious lumps examined by a doctor. A medical practitioner can only determine a lump’s benignity or malignancy. To rule out any potential issues, however, you must consult a doctor as soon as you notice a lump in your breast.
Change In Breast Size Or Shape
As stated by Dr Mitchell, “Breast size or form changes could be indicators of breast cancer. Most of the time, benign factors like pregnancy or age are to blame for these alterations. They might occasionally be a precursor to cancer, though. Breast cancer often takes time to grow, so any abrupt changes or sudden appearances are more likely to cause alarm. This may manifest as swelling, dimpling, or skin that resembles an orange peel.”
According to Dr Mitchell, nipple discharge is a common sign of breast cancer.
“According to estimates, up to one-third of all breast cancer patients’ female partners will suffer from nipple discharge. “Bloody discharge” is the term used to describe the most typical nipple discharge. In this case, the discharge has blood or blood clots in it. Many conditions, including an infection or non-cancerous growth, can result in bloody discharge. But if you have bloody discharge, you must see a doctor immediately because this is a sign of malignancy. In addition to clear or yellow discharge, typically benign, other varieties of nipple discharge, including greenish or brownish discharge, may indicate an infection. You must consult a doctor to find the source if you encounter any breast discharge.”
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Nipple Pain or Tenderness
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Dr Mitchell explains, “Nipple soreness or tenderness may indicate breast cancer. This is due to the possibility of cancer swelling the nipple’s surrounding tissue, which can be uncomfortable to touch. Some people have discomfort all the time, while others only experience it when the breast is touched or pushed. The nipple could also swell up, haemorrhage, or turn red. You need to see a doctor immediately if you encounter any of these symptoms for an accurate diagnosis.”
Underarm Lymph Node Swelling
According to Dr Mitchell, there are a few reasons why swelling in the lymph nodes under the arm could indicate breast cancer. The first lymph nodes to discharge breast tissue are located beneath the arm. Therefore, if there is breast cancer, the underarm lymph nodes are where it will likely spread first. Second, compared to other lymph nodes, the underarm lymph nodes are more easily palpable due to their proximity to the skin’s surface. Because of this, they are swelling here is more likely to be observed than in other places. Finally, because of their location, the lymph nodes in the underarms are prone to discomfort from things like shaving or deodorant use. Even in the absence of malignancy, this inflammation can cause the lymph nodes to enlarge.
It is important to remember, too, that not every underarm lymph node swelling is caused by cancer. Infection or inflammation are some more potential causes. As a result, a doctor should examine any enlargement of the lymph nodes under the arm to ascertain its source.
This “doesn’t represent medical advice, and by no means are these responses intended to be exhaustive,” according to Dr Mitchell. Instead, it’s meant to promote conversations about lifestyle choices.
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