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Breast Cancer Symptoms - What You Should Look For

Updated on October 29, 2012

Definition of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a cancerous tumor that lives in breast tissues. The cancerous tumor starts to grow and multiply in the cells of the breast. As the cell of the tumor grows and multiplies it migrates and invades the surrounding breast tissue and could spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Breast cancer is a disease that is mainly found in women and it is reported to be the second most common cancer to cause death amongst women. USA statistics reveal that 1 in 8 women has breast cancer and 200,000 a year are diagnosed with it. This is not to say that men do not get breast cancer, because they do. In fact 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and the numbers are rising.

Breast Cancer Awareness

The majority of breast cancers are found and diagnosed as cancerous following an abnormality seen on a mammogram and from the results of a subsequent biopsy.

However, breast cancer can also be diagnosed from a:

  • Lump that has been found in the breast tissue
  • Change in shape with one breast becoming significantly larger than the other
  • A change in the color of the breasts, with a darker shade appearing or a reddened appearance which is warm to touch
  • A rash and change in skin texture that resembles the pitted skin of an orange

Being breast cancer aware has helped to detect breast cancer in the early stages with the positive consequence that survival rates have increased. This is all as a result of women realising the risk of breast cancer and attending for mammograms more readily.

Breast Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do
Breast Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do

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Beast Cancer Symptoms

There are several breast cancer symptoms. It is important that women are aware of the symptoms, so that upon any change being noticed it can be checked out as soon as possible and an early diagnosis can be made. It has been shown that early detection saves lives.

Breast Cancer Symptoms Include:

  • Lumps and swellings in the breast or under the arm in the armpit. However, it should be borne in mind that this symptom could be due to hormonal changes because of monthly menstruating or because some women just have lumpy breasts
  • Changes in the size and shape where the change is significant, e.g. one breast becoming considerably larger than the other
  • Changes in skin texture. The skin may become dimpled and pitted resembling the skin of an orange
  • A rash on and around the nipple area
  • A discharge of blood from the nipple
  • The nipple turns in and sinks into the breast
  • Fluid leaking from the nipple (not milk)
  • Reddening of the breast which is also warm on touch

Breast cancer survival rates are getting better and longer. This is because early diagnosis is beneficial and crucial for breast cancer because the disease can be put in remission for many years as it responds extremely well to treatment before it has spread.

Therefore the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome for any man or woman.


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    • editorsupremo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, England

      Thank you, I do my best to eat healthy, exercise and keep a positive outlook on life, that's probably why I look vibrant. Even when I was ill and going through treatment everyone would say 'but you look so well, not like someone whose got cancer.'

      The medical industry is not going to roll out any cure or more targeted treatments anytime soon because it would mean losing the huge profits they make.

    • Eliminate Cancer profile image

      Eliminate Cancer 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Congratulations on your survival!! You look vibrant!! I wish there was more information on treatment options - stage 2 is borderline, but stage 1 is often over-treated, and so early detection often leads to a process that does more harm than good.

      The medical industry is slowly changing, more targeted treatments are being developed, but I still think it will be 10-15 years before treatments are, for the most part, optimal for the type and stage of cancer. In the meantime, we try to stay healthy and survive!!

    • editorsupremo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from London, England

      Thank you ladies. I also believe it is important to share such information as the prevalence of breast cancer is off the chart, and being aware of the signs and symptoms could help someone to get checked early whilst it is still possible to cure the disease. I am a breast cancer survivor of 12 years. As soon as I found a lump I got treatment for stage 2 cancer. I believe awareness I had contributed to my successful treatment.

    • Eliminate Cancer profile image

      Eliminate Cancer 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      An important hub - I truly believe breast cancer is preventable, and survivable - it makes me sad to read in the news of women who still succumb to the disease. Information is important - thank you for sharing this!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Useful information contained in this hub. Thanks for sharing. Voted useful!


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