Signs & Symptoms of Breast Cancer

One of the most valuable tools in fighting breast cancer is knowledge and awareness. For example, women who are able to identify the early signs and common symptoms of developing breast cancer can get screened and seek out treatment sooner. If breast cancer is caught in an early stage, treatment has a higher chance of success, improving the patient’s chance of survival.

To continue to promote breast cancer awareness, your local cancer experts here at Peninsula Radiation Oncology Center have put together this guide on the early signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Early Signs Of Breast Cancer

To identify developing breast cancer, the most common method is through a test known as a mammogram, which uses low-energy X-rays to identify any changes in the breast that may indicate the presence of cancer. As risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, the American Cancer Society recommends that women start getting screened for breast cancer once each year when they reach the ages of 40-44. By getting screened regularly, it’s possible for mammograms to identify breast cancer before any physical signs or symptoms develop. However, if the cancer is not caught, below are some of the most common signs that could indicate the development of early stage breast cancer.

  • Hard lumps or nodes felt on or inside the breast.
  • Changes in skin appearance on either breast such as redness or swelling.
  • Changes in the appearance of the nipples on either breast
  • Fluid discharge from the nipples that is not breast milk
  • Pain in or on any part of the breast
  • Changes in size or shape of either breas

The most common sign of early stages of breast cancer is the presence of a lump or node in the breast, and it often the main sign that women look for when conducting self-exams at home. If you notice any of the above signs, it is recommended that you contact a doctor to schedule a screening to check for the presence of breast cancer. It is possible for patients to show one or several of these signs at once, and it some cases, no signs at all

Symptoms Of Invasive Breast Cancer

If breast cancer has developed past the initial stages, patients may start to show a variety of symptoms. Most symptoms of breast cancer affect the breasts, and can be similar to the early signs of developing cancer except for being more frequent or severe. Depending on the case, patients can show multiple symptoms or none at all. The common symptoms for invasive breast cancer include:

  • Hard lumps or nodes felt on or inside the breast.
  • Itchy or irritated breasts
  • Frequent changes in breast size or shape in a short period
  • Flaky or peeling skin around the nipple
  • Changes in the firmness or tenderness of the breast
  • Change in the color of the breast
  • Pitting of the skin on the breast (similar to the texture of an orange peel)

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately contact a doctor to schedule a screening, get an accurate breast cancer diagnosis, and seek treatment as soon as possible if necessary.

Contact Us To Learn More & Schedule A Screening!

If you have any questions about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, or would like to learn more about the treatment options available for breast cancer, don’t hesitate to contact us today. A member of our knowledgeable cancer treatment experts will provide you will all the information you’re looking for. We hope to hear from you soon and help answer any questions you may have.