The American Cancer Society informs that the average American woman has 12% risk of experiencing breast cancer during her life.
More than 260 000 women get new diagnosis of invasive breast malignancy annually.
Cancer occurs, when abnormal cells, which don’t die off as normal ones, grow and multiply out of control, forming a tumor. If these cells have ability to spread anywhere to other body areas, they are recognized as malignant cells.
Your risks of breast neoplasm are higher, if anybody of your close relatives (mother or sister) was diagnosed with this problem.
It was found that sometimes women inherit genetic mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, which are associated with increased risks of breast and ovarian cancers.
You’ve probably heard that breast cancer usually manifests in a lump. That’s right, it’s a rather common symptom of breast malignancy. That’s why professionals recommend examining new masses and lumps in the breast, if they don’t go away after several menstrual cycles.
Though malignant lumps are painless, thick, immobile and have uneven edges as usual, it’s worth consulting with specialist, if you found any new formations in your breast.
Besides this, breast cancer can also cause one or more of these symptoms:
1. Pain – most of the painful sensations are not linked to breast malignancy. Breast pain, medically called mastalgia, is usually a result of hormonal fluctuations, breast cysts, stress or consumption of oral contraceptives. However sometimes breast cancer can be a culprit of the soreness in one or both of the breasts.
2. Nipple retraction – women with breast cancer often notice that the nipple on the affected breast has turned inward.
3. Swelling – even if you don’t have any lumps, your breast or its part may become swollen and tender.
4. Orange peel – skin dimpling, which looks like the orange peel, may be the only sign of the breast cancer.
5. Discoloration and scaliness – breast cancer can make the surface of your breast or nipple red, scaly and flaky.
6. Changes in the size – it’s normal for women to have slightly asymmetric or different breasts. The problem is, if one of your mammaries changes its size or shape abruptly.
7. Abnormal nipple discharge – any new discharge from the breast, which are not milk (if you breastfeed) is a red flag of breast cancer.
8. Enlarged lymph nodes – it’s not uncommon for breast cancer to metastasize into the lymph nodes, located in the armpits, causing their tenderness and enlargement.
9. Unexplained weight loss – cancer commonly causes reduction of appetite and unintentional rapid weight loss.