Breast cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in UK women, is the disease women fear most.
Early detection of this disease is vital!
There are different signs and symptoms of breast cancer. One of the first signs or symptoms is feeling a lump in the breast. This lump will feel different then the other breast tissue around it.
It is known that more then eighty percent of women discover lumps by checking themselves. A physician can detect breast cancer by giving you a mammogram.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer may help save your life.
When the disease is discovered early, you have more treatment options and a better chance for a cure. Most breast lumps aren’t cancerous.
Yet the most common sign of breast cancer for both men and women is a lump or thickening in the breast.
Often, the lump is painless.
Even though the public has learned a great deal about breast cancer, there remain more than a half-dozen popular breast cancer myths.
At least one such myth relates to the signs of breast cancer. Many women believe that finding a lump in the breast means that they have breast cancer, which is untrue.
Another symptom of breast cancer is Paget?s disease of the breast.
It is a syndrome that presents skin changes like redness and flaking skin of the nipple. As this advances symptoms may include itching, tingling, sensitivity, pain and burning and on occasion discharge from the nipple. About half of women that are diagnosed with Paget?s will also have a lump in the breast.
Another helpful piece of information is that some types of cancers, like the Inflammatory breast cancer and Pagent’s disease show classic symptoms of their own type. Very red and hard breasts which keep getting sore show along with the regular breast cancer symptoms are a classic case of the Inflammatory breast cancer, whereas very itchy, red, scaly rashes, easily confused for eczema, on the breasts along with other breast cancer symptoms are Pagent’s disease.
Always get the doctor to clarify your doubts.
Unlike the more common form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer does not generally present as a lump.
The disease grows as nests or sheets that clog the lymph system under the skin. Often the symptoms are attributed to other diseases and thus the diagnosis may take a long time to occur.
For many women, abnormal cell activity in breast fluid will be the first warning of the potential development of breast cancer signs and symptoms. This early warning system gives women and their doctors precious extra time to implement a more vigilant, personalized breast health treatment plan.
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. This test is used to look for breast disease in women who do not appear to have breast problems. It can also be used when women have symptoms such as a lump, skin change, or nipple discharge.
Each year 180,000 women get breast cancer, this is an increase of over 50 percent of the women who were developing breast cancer before 1950.
The chances of developing breast cancer increases with age.
But, don’t think that you don’t have to worry if you are younger than 40, because more and more young women are also developing breast cancer than ever before.
Be vigilant in your breast exams and you will have greater peace of mind.
Early detection methods of detecting breast cancer has improved survival rates tremendously. Even with the amount of women developing breast cancer increasing, the amount of women who actually die of breast cancer these days is decreasing due to early detection and better treatment methods.
A screening mammogram is used to look for breast disease in women who have no breast concerns. A diagnostic mammogram is used when a woman has symptoms or if there are other barriers to accurate testing like breast implants.
Unfortunately, the early stages of breast cancer may not have any symptoms. This is why it is important to follow screening recommendations. In most cases, the first signs of breast cancer are recognized as a small and often palpable lump in the breast.
Women with a higher risk of breast cancer should talk with their doctor about the best approach for them. They may benefit from starting mammograms when they are younger, having them more often, or having other tests. If you are at higher risk, your doctor might recommend an ultrasound or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) be done along with your mammograms.
If you notice any of these warning signs of breast cancer do not panic. Call your health care provider early and have it checked out. Not all these changes may represent cancer but you will not know unless you are examined.
Yet there is more reason for optimism than ever before.
In the last 30 years, doctors have made great strides in early diagnosis and treatment of the disease and in reducing breast cancer deaths.
In 1975, a diagnosis of breast cancer usually meant radical mastectomy – removal of the entire breast along with underarm lymph nodes and muscles underneath the breast.
Today, radical mastectomy is rarely performed. Instead, there are more and better treatment options, and many women are candidates for breast-sparing operations.
Most breast cancer symptoms are visually observable and highlight the need for regular breast self exams.
While breast cancer cannot be prevented, early detection of cancer warning signs and early diagnosis dramatically increases the likelihood of successful treatment.
The good news is that many times, especially if a lump is caught early, women with breast cancer go on to live full, healthy lives after treatment.
Some women also join support groups so they can talk to other women with breast cancer who are feeling the same emotions, this can be very beneficial and supportive.