How do you physically feel with breast cancer?

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. Breast cancer may also spread to muscles and bones. You may experience pain in these areas, as well as restrictions on movement. You may see some clear discharge coming from your nipples, even if you are not currently breastfeeding.

It's important to keep up to date with mammograms and other types of breast exams as recommended by your doctor. While it's important to control any new and persistent symptoms, bone aches and pains may be due to aging, arthritis, or side effects of breast cancer treatment. Secondary breast cancer occurs when the cancer has spread from the breast and has gone to another part of the body. It may be in the same breast (local), in the lymph nodes close to the original cancer (regional), or in a part of the body that is further away (metastatic or distant).

If breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it can also cause symptoms in those particular areas. Joints may feel stiff, especially right after waking up or standing up after sitting for long periods of time. One of the first places where breast cancer can spread is the lymph nodes under the arm, on the same side as breast cancer. Learn about the different types of treatment you could receive when breast cancer spreads or comes back.

Secondary breast cancer means that a cancer that began in the breast has spread to another part of the body. Mastectomy and surgery to replace a breast (reconstruction) can cause scar tissue or fat cells to build up. The most common places where breast cancer spreads are the lymph nodes, bones, liver, lungs, and brain. The fibrocystic condition causes non-cancerous changes in the breasts that can cause lumps, tenderness, and pain.

Some women also have dimples on their skin along their breasts that look like dimples of orange peel. Breast cancer that spreads from where it started to surrounding tissues is called invasive or infiltrating. Get answers to your questions about how the state of menopause affects advanced breast cancer treatment and more.

Tonya Sharrai
Tonya Sharrai

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