For every eight women, one will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life. This statistic is very daunting to say the least, and we all know someone who was the one in eight. And since it is still National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I believe it is important to go over the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
1. Changes in How the Breast or Nipple Feels
This can include tenderness of the nipple, or a lump/thickening in or near the breast or underarm area. The texture of the breast may also change (similar to an orange peel).
2. Changes in the Appearance of the Breast or Nipple
This can include unexplained changes in the size or shape of the breast, unexplained swelling or shrinkage of the breast, dimpling of the breast, and a slightly inward and inverted nipple. Also if there is recent asymmetry of your breast (although it is natural to have one breast that is slightly bigger) it should be checked. Scaly, red, and swollen skin of breast, areola or nipple is also a sign (skin may also develop pitting or ridges that resemble an orange peel).
3. Nipple Discharge
Especially clear or bloody discharge. Milky discharge not associated with breastfeeding should also be checked by a medical professional, although it is not linked with breast cancer.
Now all these signs are not always due to breast cancer, but should still be taken very seriously. All women should also perform a breast self-exam every month, which should be done in the shower, in front of a mirror, and lying down. Mammograms should be performed on a yearly basis as well for all women.
For more information about breast cancer and prevention, go to http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/
Photo Credit to TheMindCircle