Mammography screening has become a part of regular health checkups in most countries around the world. Hence, breast cancer is detected at an early stage now.
However, if a regular mammography is not a part of your healthcare routine, then you must ensure that you are aware of the symptoms of breast cancer.
Many a time, women are caught unaware and are surprised when they are detected with the disease because of how asymptomatic the early stages of cancer can be.
Especially because most of them feel that a lump in the breast is the only symptom. But that’s not the case. Most of the other symptoms are too feeble or too mild to be noticed.
Here are seven of them.
#1 – A retracting Nipple
One of the least known symptoms is a nipple that starts to point inwards as the cancer cells grow and target the milk duct that is positioned behind the nipple. While there are many other conditions that can also cause a retracting nipple, breast cancer is one of them. If you notice the nipple retracting, then seek emergency medical attention.
#2 – The Armpit Lump
The lymph nodes under the armpit get swollen whenever there is any infection in the body. Most of the time, it might be a mild infection that will heal by itself in a few days. But, there is also a possibility that it might be a malignant cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. Many a time, persistent under arm swelling might be the first symptom of cancer that appears even before the infamous lump in the breast.
#3 – A rash on the breast
Most women would dismiss a rash on the breast as an allergic reaction to food or clothing or a cosmetic product. But at times, even breast cancer can cause a rash that can run across one or both breasts. It looks like a row of tiny boils and can be red and inflamed.
#4 – Swollen or tender breasts
Any swelling, redness, tenderness and even localized pain on the breasts should not be ignored. The common misconception is that breast cancer can never cause pain. That’s not the case. There can be mild to severe pain. Sometimes, there can even be a change in the shape or coloration of the breasts.
#5 – Nipple Discharge
Breast cancer can cause a thick discharge from the nipple. Just like nipple retraction, the discharge often begins suddenly and continues for a while. It can even occur when the breast is not touched or disturbed. It can be green like pus or even clear white and may occur in one or both breasts.
#6 – Lump in the breast
The lump in the breast may not be a huge lump at all until the cancer progresses to advanced stages. It might just be a small lump of tissues, sometimes even the size of a quarter. However, even ordinary hardened skin must be thoroughly checked and investigated to rule out the possibility of something untoward.
#7 – Thickening of the nipple
There can be multiple changes in the texture of the skin around the nipple in the early stages of cancer. It can thicken, can look puckered or even itch severely. Show a healthcare professional immediately.Read More
That diagnosis might sound like it’s the end of the world. Some doctors may even make it sound a tad morbid. But the fact is that like millions of women before you, you can beat breast cancer with timely and precise medical treatment.
If you are at that walk of life where a diagnosis has just been made and you don’t know what to expect from the next few days, then here are a few tips to help you get going.
#1 – You will regain a happy and healthy life again
The first thing to tell to yourself is that life will bounce back. Cancer will not rob you off your health forever. There will be a bleak phase where you feel that nothing is going right. With the help of your close ones and your oncologist, you will be able to get back on your feet and live happily again.
#2 – You can be misdiagnosed
Sometimes, a lump that may be touted as benign scar tissue or something can turn out to be carcinoma. And vice-a-versa. It pays to get a second opinion. At best, you confirm what you already knew. At worst, the correct diagnosis can help you get on track with treatment rather than wasting costly time.
#3 – Clear your doubts with your doctor. Not with Google.
You will have doubts. Possibly, lots of them. Speak to your doctor and clear them. Why is a particular test being done? Why is this medication being prescribed? What are the side effects of this medication? You have a right to know and Google isn’t the best place to seek answers to questions related to your health.
#4 – It is going to work. Trust the process.
Many cancer survivors talk about how belief in the treatment helped them the most. It is important to have faith that it is going to work. Even the smallest iota of doubt will create a domino effect that will pull you down mentally as well as physically.
#5 – Take the advice with a pinch of salt
You will be bombarded with advice. And most of it will be from people who have never had cancer. Learn to take it with a pinch of salt. At the end of the day, listen closely to your doctors and speak to other survivors. There’s nothing like the motivation that you get after speaking to someone who has battled cancer and lived to tell the tale.
#6 – Eat Healthy food
You will be at your lowest in terms of confidence and health. So ensure that you don’t tax your body further by eating junk. Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Drink juices. Eat lean meat, poultry, dairy and everything that is not restricted. Keep alcohol to a minimum and try not to smoke often.
#7 – Never miss your medications and follow ups
Lastly and most importantly, accept the fact that medications and yearly follow up routines will become a part of life. Possibly for a long time. Ensure that you never miss out on them. Stay positive!Read More
It is estimated that 1 in every 8 women in the USA will be detected with Breast cancer during their life. That’s a staggering number of women battling this potentially fatal disease.
The good part is that there is increased awareness about the condition. Women know what signs and symptoms to watch out for and cancer screening is part of a routine health checkup for most women post 30.
But, we have noticed that there’s a lot of misinformation floating out there about Breast Cancer. Some of them are so popular that many women mistakenly believe them to be truths.
So, let’s go bust some myths.
#1 – Breast Cancer is hereditary
It’s not. And here’s a statistic to prove you wrong. The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer who also had a parent or close relative with the disease is a paltry 13%. What is important though is that just because you do not have a family history of the disease, it does not make you safe. You must continue to be vigilant, learn about self-monitoring for the condition and seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs of the disease. Early diagnosis is the key to fast and effective treatment.
#2 – There will always be a lump in the breast
A lump is one of the most probable signs of breast cancer. But there are many other symptoms which do not lead to a lump formation. There are eight major warning signs for Breast Cancer. Seven of those signs are visual.
#3 – Deodorant causes Breast Cancer
Some deodorants contain heavy metals like aluminum which have been linked with infertility and even an increased incidence of some types of cancers. However, no direct link has been established between deodorant usage and breast cancer yet. Off topic, are you aware that squeezing lime on your underarms is the easiest and cheapest way to get rid of body odor?
#4 – Men cannot get breast cancer
Call them pecs or whatever else you want it to. But inside the body, it is still breast tissue. And invasive cancer of the breast among men is on the rise.
#5 – Women below the age of 30 cannot get breast cancer
There is no age for breast cancer although the likelihood of a young woman getting breast cancer are slim. In 2009, a 13-year-old by the name of Taylor Thompson was diagnosed with breast cancer. So, irrespective of the age, women must continue to be vigilant about breast cancer. This also emphasizes the importance of educating young girls about the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
#6 – Cell phone use can cause breast cancer
Once again, there’s no link between mobile phone radiation and cancers or tumors of any type. At least, not yet. However, there are much better places to keep your cell phone than your bra.
#7 – Wearing a bra can cause breast cancer
This one takes the cake. Sorry to disappoint you girls. It does not. Enough said.Read More