When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key. So knowing the early signs of breast cancer is important.
In this article we’ll look at the early signs of breast cancer, risk factors for breast cancer and some tips for preventing breast cancer.
10 Early Signs of Breast Cancer
At its earliest stages there are typically no signs that you have breast cancer. However, as the tumor develops it can lead to specific symptoms/signs listed below that should not be ignored.
Here are 10 signs that may indicate you have breast cancer:
- A lump in the breast
- A lump in the underarm
- Pain or tenderness in the breast
- Changes in the breast (size, shape or appearance)
- Changes in the nipple (burning, itching, an inverted nipple, dimpling or developing sores)
- Nipple discharge (may be clear or bloody or another color)
- Swelling of the breast, collarbone or armpit
- Flaking, scaling, crusting or peeling of the skin around the nipple
- Other changes, such as dimpling, pitting or reddening of the skin of the breast
- Having one or more of these symptoms does not mean you have breast cancer. However, you should seek professional medical attention if you exhibit any of these signs.
9 Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
The following factors put you at an increase risk of breast cancer.
However, having one or more of these risk factors does not mean you will definitely get the disease.
9 Common risk factors include:
- Being a woman
- Age – the risk increases with age
- Genetics / Family history of breast cancer
- Previous breast cancer – having breast cancer in one breast increases the risk you’ll develop it in the other breast
- If you’ve never been pregnant or having your first child over the age of 30
- Having had your first period before age 12
- Starting menopause at an older age
- Radiation exposure
Prevention of Breast Cancer
The following may help reduce your risk of breast cancer:
- Regular breast cancer screenings and mammograms
- Conducting regular self breast exams and getting familiar with your breasts
- Exercise and a healthy diet
- Limit your intake of alcohol
- Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy
If you’re concerned that you have some of the early signs of breast cancer please consult with a medical professional to get a proper medical diagnosis and to determine any appropriate treatment.