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Breast Cancer Signs: Distinct Indicators to Facilitate Diagnosing the Disease

Sep 4, 2008
Understanding and being able to detect breast cancer signs are crucial for early detection of the disease and higher success rates. As the most common cancer amongst women in the U.S., breast cancer is a brazen reality and on the rise. Fortunately, it's also a disease with a high cure rate, particularly if it's detected early.

To learn about known breast cancer signs and symptoms and how to detect them in your own body, keep reading

Lump

Most instances of breast cancer are diagnosed after a woman discovers a lump in her breast. This is the most common method of detecting breast cancer and the clearest sign or symptom of the disease.

Whether during a routine self breast examination or simply by accident, a woman will notice or feel a bump that feels significantly different than the surrounding breast tissue. To learn how to do a self breast examination, try the Breast Self Exam (BSE) tutorial on the Komen website, komen.org.

Changing Breast Shape, Skin Texture or Size

A drastic change in a breast's skin texture, shape or overall size can be a clear indicator of breast cancer. Many breast cancer victims also see a dimpling or wrinkling of the skin.

Soreness and Skin Irritation

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare form of breast cancer, but it does occur in about 1% of women diagnosed with the disease. The symptoms typically present themselves through itchiness, swelling, soreness, redness and a heat that resonates throughout the breast.

Paget's Disease of the Breast

Paget's disease is what is considered a secondary or complex symptom of breast cancer. Essentially, the skin of the breast and/or nipple feels and appears as though it's afflicted by eczema. The skin is flaking, itchy, irritated and red.

Loss of Appetite

Not all breast cancer patients experience a decreased appetite and subsequent weight loss, but many do. Cancer is a disease that can often affect the entire body, even if it's localized. Often, patients' diets are adversely affected.

Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Though not as thoroughly documented as other physical symptoms, many breast cancer patients report experiencing higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression even before they were diagnosed. While most doctors won't make a positive determination on this evidence alone, it can be a helpful indicator.

Family History

If any of your immediate family members or several members of your extended family have been diagnosed with breast cancer, then you need to let your doctor know. You should also commit to monthly self breast exams and annual mammograms.

From Symptoms to Diagnosis

If you're experiencing any or all the above symptoms, then you may want to consult with your doctor. Remember, the sooner breast cancer is detected, the better your long-term prognosis.

The American Cancer Society recommends conducting a monthly self breast exam and an annual mammogram to detect breast cancer signs like a lump or skin changes. A self exam is simple, quick, and an effective means of catching a potentially serious problem early.
About the Author
For helpful information on various cancers, please visit cancerinfotips.com, a popular site providing symptom and treatment insights, such as a treatments for Leukemia , Chemotherapy effects , and many more!
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