12 Signs of Breast Cancer: What to Look Out For

The Worldwide Breast Cancer campaign is designed to help women identify any changes in their breasts, such as shape, size, texture and discharge. The campaign uses a box of lemons to represent the 12 signs that all women should be aware of. It is important to note that the way your breasts look and feel can be affected by a variety of factors, such as menstruation, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. The symptoms of metastatic breast cancer depend on the part of the body where the cancer has spread and its stage.

If you are diagnosed with a benign breast lump, it is important to remember that these lumps are not cancerous and can usually be left alone safely. However, having these lumps increases your risk of developing breast cancer. You will receive an email about breast cancer which will include information about treatment, diagnosis, surgery and how Mayo Clinic oncology teams approach personalized care. Mammograms are not always able to detect all cases of breast cancer, so it is important to pay attention to any changes in your breasts.

Doctors estimate that 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are related to genetic mutations passed down from generation to generation in families. Medical therapy is usually recommended first in order to reduce the size of the tumor or reduce disease and lymph nodes, and evaluate the cancer's response to treatment. Surgery may be necessary as part of treatment, which could involve removing the breast lump or even both breasts. Knowing your breasts can help you identify any unusual signs and symptoms.

If you find a lump or other change in your breast, even if a recent mammogram was normal, make an appointment with your doctor for evaluation. Non-invasive breast cancer is unlikely to cause noticeable physical symptoms as it is usually accompanied by a tumor so small that it can only be detected by a mammogram. The campaign will highlight what you should feel during a breast exam, what you should do if you are concerned about something you find and the importance of getting regular mammograms. Changes in the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.

For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, redness, swelling, itching and pain are usually signs of a breast infection such as mastitis which can be treated with antibiotics.

Tonya Sharrai
Tonya Sharrai

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