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11 Breast cancer symptoms

The initial symptoms of breast cancer are mainly associated to changes in the breast, especially the appearance of a small painless lump. However, many of the nodules that arise in the breast are benign and, therefore, are not cancer.

If you suspect you may have breast cancer, select your symptoms and see what your risk is:

  1. 1. Nodule or lump that doesn't hurt
    Yes
    No
  2. 2. Changes to the color or shape of the nipple
    Yes
    No
  3. 3. Liquid discharge from the nipple
    Yes
    No
  4. 4. Changes to break skin, like redness or hardened skin
    Yes
    No
  5. 5. Swelling or changes in size of one of the breasts
    Yes
    No
  6. 6. Frequent itching in the breast or nipple
    Yes
    No
  7. 7. Changes in color or shape of the aerola
    Yes
    No
  8. 8. Scab formation or wounds near the nipple
    Yes
    No
  9. 9. Easily observed veins that increase in size
    Yes
    No
  10. 10. Presence of a furrow or sinking in a region of the breast
    Yes
    No
  11. 11. Lumps or swollen lymph nodes in the underpits
    Yes
    No
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The best way to identify these changes is to seek a mastologist and do a regular breast self-examination because it will help you to have a better understanding of your breast anatomy and can aid in identifying small changes as soon as they arise. This type of examination is important in both men and women.

11 Breast cancer symptoms

The symptoms mentioned above may occur simultaneously or isolated, and may be symptoms of early or advanced breast cancer. The presence of any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean the existence of breast cancer, but you should make an appointment with a mastologist so that it can be evaluated and checked to see if it is a benign nodule or an breast tissue inflammation, which requires treatment.

Who can have breast cancer

Breast cancer can emerge in both men and women alike, and those at greater risk are:

  • People with more than 50 years of age;
  • Family history of breast cancer;
  • Obesity and sedentary lifestyle;

In addition, there are also genetic changes that may increase the tendency to develop this type of cancer, such as those that occur in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. However, there are genetic tests that can be done to help identify the presence of these mutations to your genes, which can be beneficial so that measures can be taken before cancer arises and in turn can help to avoid cancer.

Breast cancer symptoms in men

The symptoms of male breast cancer are similar to the symptoms of breast cancer in women, so when men verify there is some kind of breast change, it is important to see a mastologist to diagnose the problem and start the appropriate treatment.

11 Breast cancer symptoms

How to identify advanced breast cancer

The symptoms of advanced malignant breast cancer include the worsening of the symptoms and lesions referred above but also other signs not related to the breasts such as nausea, bone pain, loss of appetite, severe headaches, and muscle weakness. Generally, these symptoms are caused because advanced cancer can cause metastases from malignant cells to other organs of the body such as lungs and brain, so they should be evaluated by a mastologist and clinical oncologist as soon as possible.

Find out other causes of breast discomfort in: breast pain.

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