Do you feel unwell with early breast cancer?

Breast cancer usually doesn't cause symptoms in the early stages. Constantly feeling sick with nausea or fatigue may be a sign that the cancer has spread. If you experience persistent nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, or unexplained weight loss, talk to your doctor. Secondary breast cancer occurs when the cancer has spread from the breast and went to another part of the body.

The type that is most suitable for you will depend on many factors, including the treatment you have received, any ongoing treatments, and the size of your breasts. This also applies to new symptoms if you've already been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, as it may be a sign that the cancer is progressing. Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer can affect your daily life in many ways, depending on the stage you are in and the treatment you receive. Women who have already had a mastectomy to remove both breasts will not be offered these medications because their risk of developing breast cancer is very small.

One of the first places where breast cancer can spread is the lymph nodes under the arm, on the same side as breast cancer. If you have had breast cancer at an early stage, your health care team will agree on a care plan with you after treatment is finished. Some people find it helpful to talk to other people who have breast cancer, either in a local support group or in an online chat room. Much progress has been made in the treatment of breast cancer, and more women are now living longer and having fewer side effects from treatment.

The most common form of breast cancer is invasive ductal breast cancer, which develops in cells that line the breast ducts. The Breast Surgery Association has published a coronavirus guide for people with breast cancer (PDF, 455 KB). It's important to talk to your breast cancer nurse about any complementary therapy you want to use, to make sure it doesn't interfere with conventional treatment. The tests you'll have at the breast clinic depend on your current symptoms, your age, and the results of the initial exam they'll do when you arrive.

A benign breast lump doesn't mean you have breast cancer, but certain types of lumps may slightly increase your risk of developing it. In a small proportion of women, breast cancer is discovered after it has spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). Women with dense breast tissue may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer because there are more cells that can become cancerous.

Tonya Sharrai
Tonya Sharrai

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