What Are the Early Signs of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, and early detection is key to successful treatment. Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can help people access the right treatment as soon as possible. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass, which may be hard, painless, soft, round, tender, or even painful. Other changes in the breast may also be early signs of breast cancer.

These can include nipple problems, secretions, and changes in size or texture. Mammograms are the primary way to detect breast cancer in its early stages. If you're concerned about any new changes in your breasts, it's important to speak to your doctor.Although pain is rarely the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer, certain types of pain can be a sign of the condition. Women of all ages at average risk should not undergo a clinical breast exam for breast cancer.

However, if you experience tenderness or pain in your breasts, it's important to speak to your doctor. They can help determine if your signs and symptoms are early signs of breast cancer.Mammograms (low-dose breast x-rays) can help detect a breast tumor long before it is large enough to start causing symptoms and when the cancer is likely to be treated more easily. If your doctor suspects that you have breast cancer, they may recommend additional tests such as an ultrasound or biopsy. A biopsy involves taking a sample of cells from the suspicious area and examining them under a microscope.Certain conditions such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) involve the development of abnormal cells in the breast but are not considered a type of cancer.

LCIS increases the risk of developing invasive breast cancer in the future. Knowing the different parts of the breast can help people understand how cancer forms and spreads.With current treatment options, a person diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer has a 99% chance of living for at least another 5 years. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer is done before primary treatment, which is usually surgery. Advances in chemotherapy have made it less common for people to need surgery after initial treatment for breast cancer.To ensure an early diagnosis, it is important to recognize any changes in the breast and to ask your doctor any questions.

Any sudden changes in the texture or appearance of the breast should be reported immediately to your doctor. It's also important to remember that flat or inverted nipples are common throughout life, and milk leakage is very normal during pregnancy or shortly after having a baby.

Tonya Sharrai
Tonya Sharrai

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