How do you feel with early breast cancer?

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass (although most breast lumps are not cancerous). A hard, painless mass with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can also be soft, round, tender, or even painful. Certain changes in the breast may be early signs of breast cancer. Knowing what these changes look and feel like can help people access the right treatment as soon as possible.

We often associate pain with something bad, so when people feel tenderness or pain in their breasts, they often think of breast cancer. However, breast pain is rarely the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer. There are several other factors that can cause pain. Women of all ages at average risk should not undergo a clinical breast exam for breast cancer.

Although LCIS involves the development of abnormal cells in the breast, it is not a type of cancer; an LCIS diagnosis means that you have a higher risk of developing invasive breast cancer. To determine if your signs and symptoms are early signs of breast cancer, check with your doctor. 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. The symptoms of a recurrence in the same place as the first breast cancer are very similar to the symptoms of the first 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. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer is done before primary treatment, which is usually surgery. Because the main symptom of breast cancer is an abnormal lump in the breast and because non-invasive breast cancer is usually accompanied by a tumor so small that it can only be detected by a mammogram, non-invasive breast cancer is unlikely to cause noticeable physical symptoms.

If you're concerned about any new changes in your breasts, ask your doctor to review your symptoms and determine if a more thorough evaluation is needed. Experts say that advances in chemotherapy have made it less common for people to need surgery after initial treatment for breast cancer. Knowing the different parts of the breast can help people understand how cancer forms and spreads. Because breast cancer doesn't cause many physical symptoms in its early stages, mammograms are the primary way to detect the condition.

With current treatment options, a person diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer has a 99% chance of living for at least another 5 years. The doctor will examine the breasts and breast skin, and check for nipple problems and secretions. Breasts can change in size during the menstrual cycle, 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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