It is important for both men and women to know the symptoms of breast cancer. While breast cancer strikes women 100 times more frequently than men, men can also develop the disease. It is the hope of The Breast Cancer Society that everyone becomes aware of how to detect early breast cancer symptoms so individuals can catch the disease before it develops into a serious condition that will require more complicated treatments.

Breast Cancer Symptoms: Self Exams

One of the best ways to detect breast cancer while it is easily treatable is to perform monthly breast self-exams. While it is very important to have a lump tested by a doctor, women and men should know that lumps do not always mean cancer. Some lumps are benign tumors, while some might even be harmless sacks of fluid. Only a doctor can diagnose the condition accurately.

Breast Cancer Symptoms: Size and Shape

Another common symptom of breast cancer is a change in the size or shape of the breast. This could include one or both breasts getting larger, but inexplicable shrinkage should also be inspected by a doctor. Changes in the shape of the breast should also be looked at by a medical professional, especially if the change involves an inverted nipple. This is a common breast cancer symptom that needs to be tested right away.

Breast Cancer Symptoms: Nipples

Inverted nipples are one sign of possible breast cancer, but there are other changes in the nipple that could indicate tumor development. The most common is inexplicable peeling or flaking of the skin on and around the nipple. If you suddenly find that the skin in this area seems dry, flaky, and irritated, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Breast Cancer Symptoms: Skin

It is often common for women with breast cancer to experience changes in the skin color and texture of their breasts. The breast or breasts might become red, and the skin might also become dimpled. Some women and health care professionals compare these symptoms to the look of an orange.

Breast Cancer Screenings

It’s impossible to be completely sure that someone has breast cancer just by observing these outward symptoms. While experiencing any of them means you should consult a doctor as soon as possible, it does not mean that you should immediately assume that you have cancer. To decrease your risk of developing cancer, you should be giving yourself regular self-exams and screenings. Many women choose to have a mammogram once a year to check for any lumps or abnormal growths that might indicate cancerous cells. Even if a lump is detected, your doctor will have to perform other tests and send a sample to a lab to determine if your breast is cancerous.

Because breast cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the world, second only to lung cancer, it is very important to take these symptoms seriously.

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