When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key. Knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can help you catch it in its early stages, when it is most treatable. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast or armpit. Other signs may include thickening or swelling of part of the breast, irritation or dimpling of the skin on the breast, redness or scaly skin on the nipple area or breast, and nipple inversion or flattening.
It's important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, such as an infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Mammograms are the most reliable way to detect breast cancer early, according to the American Cancer Society. Mammograms are low-dose x-rays that can detect a tumor before it is large enough to cause symptoms and when it is more easily treated.
In addition to mammograms, there are other tests that can be used to detect breast cancer. These include ultrasound, MRI, and biopsy. During a biopsy, a small amount of tissue is removed from the breast and evaluated in a laboratory. If you have already been diagnosed with secondary
breast cancer, it's important to watch for new symptoms as they may be a sign that the cancer is progressing.
For women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, redness, swelling, itching, and pain are usually signs of a breast infection such as mastitis. This can be treated with antibiotics. You can help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating well, staying active, and not smoking.