Breast cancer is the cancer that forms in the cells of the breast. Breast cancer has become more common after skin cancer. In United States of America, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women. Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also referred to in the United States as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities. The month starts from October 1st and lasts till October 31st.
There are few signs and symptoms which need immediate attention. That’s why it is essential to go for your regular checkups and mammograms, and to perform monthly breast self-exams at home.
Early signs of breast cancer
While performing breast self-exams, pay attention to these early warning signs of breast cancer. If you notice any of these signs (or any abnormal changes), make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
1. Visible changes in the nipple or skin
After adolescence, your nipples remain consistent in shape, size and color. Generally, there shouldn’t be any sudden changes with your nipples or skin. But if you face visible changes, such as a red, itchy or scaly rash; inversion or sucking-in of the nipple; dimpling, puckering or other changes in the skin on or around the nipple, you should see your doctor.
During menstruation, your breasts may become tender or swell. This is completely normal. But, if you notice that the tenderness and swelling is abnormal, discolored or lasts longer than a week, let your doctor know. Swelling is the alarm of your body to which you need to pay attention.
3. Nipple discharge
Discharge from the nipple, while not always a cause of worry, should be monitored and evaluated by a doctor, especially if it’s a new symptom for you. Discharge can be caused by a few different things, and it isn’t an extremely common symptom of breast cancer. But this gives you an idea to go for a checkup to the doctor.