Breast cancer awareness is important for monitoring your overall breast health. Though self-examinations do not replace routine check-ups, mammograms and other breast screenings by your doctor, it can be helpful to know what signs to look out for, and when to take action. The warning signs of breast cancer may not be the same for all women, but there are many common signs that can indicate cancer. See a health care provider if you notice any of the following warning signs.
Lump or Hard Knot on the Breast
A hard lump or mass on your breast is the most common sign of breast cancer and should be examined by a healthcare professional immediately. A lump caused by breast cancer or a benign breast disease feels different from the natural bumpy texture of your breast tissue, as such lumps generally are hard with irregular edges. However, many breast lumps resulting from cancer can also be painful to the touch and rounded or soft. Because of the variation in how these bumps can feel and appear on your breast, it’s important to get any new or irregular breast masses checked by your doctor.
Swelling and Redness
Even if you do not feel a lump on your breast, irregular swelling and redness can be a sign of breast cancer. This can, more specifically, be an indication of inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form of breast cancer that can make the skin of your breast appear pink, purple or bruised.
Nipple retraction, or nipple inversion, refers to the nipple turning inward and retracting into the breast. Though not caused specifically by cancer, it is one of the most common warning signs.
Other common warnings signs of breast cancer can be breast skin dimpling and puckering, breast pain and irregular nipple discharge.
Contact Regional Cancer Care Associates, located in Hackensack, NJ, by calling (844) 346-7222 for more information about breast care screening and treatment options.