Breast cancer is detected in a large number of women these days. Therefore, it is important to sensitise yourself with the signs and symptoms of the life threatening disease and keep an eye open for any lump that could be questionable. Self examination of the breast every month will help you catch any lump formation early enough for the treatment methods to be effective.
Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
The most important sign of breast cancer is a lump that is found in the breast or closer to the armpits. But considering the fact that there are a variety of harmless lumps that can be present in the breast that are benign, just the discovery of a lump in the breast does not say much about its type. One has to look for associated symptoms to arrive at a final consensus. Mentioned below are some ways to identify a breast cancer lump from other lump formations.
1. Asses for yourself the kind of lump that you have discovered. Fibrocystic lumps are most commonly present during the reproductive years from 20-50 yrs of age. These lumps almost always disappear after menopause. So if you have discovered a lump after menopause, give it due seriousness as it may not be a fibrocystic lump.
2. Feel the position and shape of the lump. Most fibrocystic lumps are located near the armpits. They are very round and slip off when touched. This means that they remain unattached inside the breast. Cancerous lumps will be hard and immovable when you touch. There is no definite shape for tumours and mostly they will be irregular in shape without pain initially. Breast tumour will be very difficult to detect in the initial stages as the tumour may not be detectable from outside.
3. If you have detected a lump in the breast that you feel is not a fibrocystic breast you must look for other symptoms as well. Tumours in the breast will also be presented with pain in the neck, leg or hand. There would be dimpling of skin in the affected area and sometimes a bruised appearance.
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4. Next step is to look for any kind of discharge from the nipples. Most breast cancer patients will have pus like discharge from the nipples. There will be significant difference between the shape and size of both the breasts as the tumour advances. The lump will keep increasing as well which may not be the case for fibrocystic breast disease.
5. If you suspect that something is really wrong, go for a mammogram or an ultrasound scan which will help the doctor determine the nature of the lump. If the doctor suspects that the lump is malignant in nature, you might have to go for a biopsy test where the tissues from lump are removed and sent for testing. If the test comes out positive, then it means that the lump is definitely cancerous.
Lumps of all sizes and shapes are very common in a woman’s breasts and you need not worry too much if you happen to feel one. However, you must make sure that the lump is tested in order to rule out possibilities.