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5 Major Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Updated on March 21, 2016

5 Major Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world affecting mostly women over 65 but not unheard of in younger women. Mammograms have recorded great success in the timely detection of breast cancer before they develop into a more deadly stage. However, screening mammograms do not detect every kind of breast cancer, in this case women would have to smart in detecting the slightest inconveniences they might notice in their breasts and seek proper medical measures in containing it before it blows out of proportion. Listed below are some of the 5 major signs and symptoms of breast cancer…

  1. 1. New lump or mass in the breast(s)

This is the most common symptom of breast cancer. It is often a painless hard mass with irregular edges. Notwithstanding, there are cases where the lump are soft, tender and round associated with excruciating pains. Therefore, it is important to have all lumps in the breast whether hard or soft checked to be certain it isn’t cancerous.

  1. 2. Slight change in appearance of breast other than when menstruating or ovulating

It isn’t in all cases that a lump or mass can point to cancerous growth, you should observe your breasts at all time to notice any slight change from the original appearance when menstruating or ovulating. Kylie Amstrong from Melbourne in Australia shared that she and her GP felt no lump in her breast, but because she was sensitive to note the appearance of her breasts, they were able to detect very feint dimples on the underside of her breasts which turned out to be cancerous.

  1. 3. Pain in the chest or breast

Any form of discomfort in the breast or chest area isn’t a pleasant sign. It could be electric sensation that goes from the left breast to the right nipple or a mild pain that often comes and goes. No matter how mild it may feel, be it an ache, twinge, throb or a sharp stab, it shouldn’t be treated taken for granted.

  1. 4. Itchy feeling in the breast

This occurs when growing cancer cells obstruct the flow of blood and lymph vessels that feed the skin thereby causing fluids to build up in and under the skin; this in turn causes the skin to have a itchy sensation. This symptom is related with inflammatory breast cancer. So, if you often feel this uncontrollable urge to sneak your hands in there and scratch, visit the doctor promptly. Don’t settle for creams and rash medication until a thorough examination has been done to rule out the possibility of any cancerous growth.

  1. 5. Changes in the breast

Any form of changes in the size, texture, contour and temperature of the breast depicts underlying cancer-related problem. A reddish pitted appearance of the breasts resembling the skin of an orange could indicate advanced cancerous growth.


Breast cancer-examination ought to be part of a woman’s monthly heath care routine. Women above 40 should have an annual mammogram and constant physical examination by a doctor. Women in their 20s and 30s should have a Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) as part of their regular health checkup. For women who wish to do a Breast Self Exam (BSE), the technique should be reviewed with the health-care provider. The objective is to feel comfortable with the way the breasts feels and look so that any slight changes could be detected on time.

Don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you have swollen lymph glands in your armpits or if you notice any abnormal lump or persistent pain in your breasts. At times these symptoms may be something other than cancer, but remember, early detection save lives.


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