More than 300,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the U.S. This means that one in every eight women in the United States will get breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. Many breast cancer symptoms appear relatively early in the development of the disease. It is essential to catch these early warning signs of breast cancer so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
Common Breast Cancer Symptoms
The most common signs of breast cancer are new lumps in the breast. These are usually painless, hard masses. It is also possible for breast cancer tumors to be tender, soft, round, jagged, or painful. Because these lumps can take so many different forms, it is important to get any new lump checked out by your doctor.
Other common breast cancer symptoms include swelling, skin dimpling, pain in the breast or nipple, nipple inversion, irregular nipple discharge, swollen lymph nodes, and dry, red, flaky, or thickened skin on the breast or nipple. While these signs do not always point to cancer, you should still report them to your doctor.
Recognizing Signs of Breast Cancer
To notice any abnormalities in your breasts, you first have to know what they are like regularly. This is why breast self-exams can be so beneficial. Examining the look and feel of your breast at home around once a month allows you to get a good picture of what is normal for you. If you ever notice anything strange, you will be able to recognize them as potential signs of breast cancer.
While regular screenings are also an important preventative tool, they do not catch everything. Even mammograms do not detect breast cancer 100 percent of the time. Being able to recognize breast cancer symptoms yourself early can literally save your life, in some cases.
Breast Cancer Screenings
Doctors recommend that women start getting a yearly mammogram at age 40. Women as young as in their 20s can do breast self-exams at home to gain a firm understanding of their bodies long before most people develop signs of breast cancer.
Some women start getting mammograms and other screenings earlier because they are at high risk of breast cancer. The most common risk factor is genetics. Women who are apart of a family where other female relatives have had breast cancer are more likely to get the disease. If this applies to you, your doctor will most likely recommend that you start yearly mammograms ten years earlier than your youngest affected relative.
When Should I See a Doctor?
If you notice any signs of breast cancer, no matter your age, you should report them to a doctor promptly. This is especially true if you find a new lump in your breast. While not all lumps are tumors and not all tumors are cancerous, it is much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your wellbeing. Take charge of your health and check regularly for breast cancer symptoms.
If you have signs of breast cancer and need a medical professional’s opinion, BASS Medical Group is here to help. Its state of the art imaging center has both 2D and 3D mammography as well as breast MRI and breast ultrasounds. Between this leading technology and its elite doctor team, BASS Medical Group will have you in good hands throughout the entire screening and diagnosing process. Call (925) 350-4044 to learn more or schedule an appointment.