12 Signs of Breast Cancer Revealed – Understand Your Body

Apr 16 / 2024 | Women's Health
12 Signs of Breast Cancer Revealed - Understand Your Body

Familiarizing yourself with the signs of breast cancer can save your life!

By taking your health into your own hands and learning to recognize the potential indicators of breast cancer, you can help your future. It is time to prioritize your breast health! Uncover the crucial signs of breast cancer in this comprehensive guide.

The Importance of Breast Health Awareness

Breast health awareness will not prevent breast cancer. But it may help you to better understand the look and feel of your breasts, and this might make it more likely that you notice if something changes.

By routinely checking your breasts during a self-exam, at least once a month, you will be able to spot and feel any irregularities. These irregularities would appear as a breast lump, dimpling of breast tissue, or nipple changes. If there is a change not typical of your breasts, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Early detection is key, which is why being aware of signs of change in your breasts and routine self-examinations are so important. Finding the cancer earlier makes it much more likely that the cancer can be cured. While both men and women can develop breast cancer, it is far more common in women, making it the most frequently diagnosed cancer among females globally.

Fact: According to Medical News Today, a whopping 99% of people who detected breast cancer in its early, localized stages are still alive five years after their diagnosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Cancer can affect your breasts in different ways. Some breast cancer symptoms are very noticeable, while others may not be. Women with dense breast tissue often struggle to feel small lumps. The breast skin color of people with light skin may look pink or red. For people with dark skin, it may look darker than the other skin on the chest, or red or purple.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

1. Changes in Breast Size or Shape

Caused by growth or inflammation, the breast will feel enlarged or not in its usual shape.

2. Skin Changes

Dimpling, puckering, or indentation (also known as “orange peel skin”) of the skin on your breast. 

3. Nipple Discharge

Unusual or bloody fluid is discharging from your nipples – excluding breast milk.

4. Nipple Changes

Recently developed inversion (your nipple points inwards), retraction (your nipple lies flat), or abnormal nipple appearance.

5. Redness, Swelling, or Warmth in the Breast

This is an indication of inflammation.

6. Breast Pain or Persistent Tenderness

If this does not occur during menstruation.

7. Changes in Breast Skin Texture

Flaking, peeling, or thickening of your breast skin.

8. Thickened Areas or Ridges in Breast Skin

Skin feels rough and has ridges in some parts.

9. Skin Changes Around the Areola

New puckering or dimpling of the dark circle around your nipple,

10. Lump in the Armpit Area

It will feel like a small stone under your arm.

11. Swollen Lymph Nodes

 In lymph nodes other than under your arm, for example, at your collar bone or lower neck.

12. Lump or Thickening in the Breast Tissue

Feels like a hard, dense part of the breast tissue. It differs from the feel of the other parts of the breast tissue.

Fact: The Mayo Clinic points out that 80-85% of lumps found in breasts are benign. That said, visiting your local medical centre to check is a smart move.

Empowering Self-Awareness and Action

Knowledge is power. Everyone’s breasts are different, and it is important to spot irregularities on your own. Get to know what is normal for you – your breasts may look or feel different at different stages of your life. This type of awareness will make it easier to notice potential problems and more confident in acting if worrisome changes in the breast do occur. By having open and honest conversations about the common signs of breast cancer and how to do self-examinations, women and men can empower themselves. Increasing the chances of early detection. Right now, more people are being diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer — meaning they’re diagnosed when it’s easier to treat — and fewer people are dying of breast cancer.

Fact: The power is in your hands – literally!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, aka “Pink October,” raises awareness for breast cancer. But you don’t have to wait for people around the world to wear pink and/or display pink ribbons to take control of the health of your breasts. For more information about the signs of breast cancer or to book a breast screening, contact WELL Health Diagnostic Centres today.