What does breast cancer look like when you first get it?

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. This rare, fast-growing type rarely causes a distinct bump. Instead, breast skin may become thick, red, and look boneless, like an orange peel.

The area may also feel hot or tender and have small bumps that look like rashes. The current idea is that it's more important to know your breasts and be aware of any changes, rather than checking them on a regular schedule. Most breast cancers occur in people who are not genetic carriers and have no significant family history of breast cancer. Mammograms are the best available test for detecting breast cancer in its early stages, sometimes years before a cancerous bump can be felt.

We follow the guidelines set by the American College of Radiology and the American Society of Breast Surgeons and recommend that women age 40 and older with an average risk get annual mammograms. Doctors sometimes give it to women with high risk factors to reduce their chances of getting breast cancer. There are many types of surgery for breast cancer, from removing the area surrounding the lump (lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery) to removing the entire breast (mastectomy). It can be used after breast cancer surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left near the tumor site.

Most breast cancers start in the breast ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) or in the lobules (glands that produce milk). You'll receive personalized treatment options, including the latest in breast medical oncology, breast surgery options, breast reconstruction, breast radiation therapy, and cutting-edge clinical trials that aren't available elsewhere. This year, the American Cancer Society estimates that about 2,620 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. However, studies suggest that these tests play a very small role in detecting cancer compared to other testing methods.

Women who breastfeed their children for the recommended amount of time (6 months exclusively and up to 2 years or more partially) can reduce their risk of breast cancer by 25%. Doctors use stages 0 to IV to describe whether the cancer is only in the breast, has moved to nearby lymph nodes, or has spread to other organs, such as the lungs. Some women have a high risk of breast cancer because they had changes or mutations in certain genes at birth.

Tonya Sharrai
Tonya Sharrai

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