When affected by cancer, one’s healthy cells grow and mutate uncontrollably. Breast cancer develops when the cells in the breast lobules, ducts, or connective tissue multiply abnormally, affecting various areas of the organ. Breast cancer accounts for nearly 30% of the diagnosed cancer cases among women in the country. Even men are at risk of developing one of its subtypes. So, here are some of the early signs of the condition one can observe:
If one notices a new lump under the breast or arms, it should be checked immediately, as this excess growth could indicate abnormal cell mutation. This is a clearly noticeable early sign of breast cancer. Lumps that persist even after experiencing normal periods could indicate cancer development. These lumps can develop with irregular hard edges, primarily indicating the presence of cancerous tissue.
Changes in the nipples
One should also check for changes in the shape of the nipple. If there is any retraction or inversion of the nipple causing pain that persists for a while, one should immediately seek professional assistance. A clear, brownish, yellowish, or reddish discharge from one or both breasts could also indicate the initial stages of breast cancer.
Redness and itchiness
Breast cancer also presents several surface irritation symptoms, including redness in a particular spot, persistent itching, skin irritation, a developing rash, and swelling in the affected area. The swelling can also affect the shape of the breasts.
Changes in skin texture
Dimpling of the skin where the area under the breasts starts to resemble the texture of an orange peel with visible pitting is another clear early sign of breast cancer. Skin texture may also change in the areas surrounding the nipples resulting in peeling or flaking of the skin.
Abrupt changes in the shape
Changes in the color of the breast, an increase in size that happens over a brief time, and thickening of the newly formed lumps are all visible signs of breast cancer. As cancer progresses, the breasts may feel warm and tender to the touch, often resulting in pain upon contact. Visible size differences, heaviness, aches in the breasts, and the development of swollen lymph nodes under the arm are also early signs of inflammatory breast cancer.
Breast cancer can be invasive, noninvasive, inflammatory, or metastatic, among other commonly diagnosed types. Further, its symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on the severity and type.