Cancer……….Don’t Ignore the Signs………

You cannot know how strongly I recommend how every single person needs to know the signs of breast cancer……or any cancer for that matter.  For today, I’ll post about the early warnings of breast cancer for women AND men.

This will be a combination of my observations and the signs from the National Breast Cancer Foundation which is where I borrowed this from.

A change in how the breast or nipple feels

(or doesn’t feel.  If you lose sensation in the nipple get it checked out immediately)

  • Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area
  • A change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast  (some describe this as similar to an orange peel’s texture)
  • A lump in the breast (It’s important to remember that all lumps should be investigated by a healthcare professional, but not all lumps are cancerous.)

I have (had) fibrocystic breast disease in both breasts as well as dense breast tissue.  Because of this, I had to have yearly mammograms.  And it’s a good thing because it found the ductal carcinoma in situ in one of my milk ducts.

breast cancer early detection signs and symptoms feels

A change in the breast or nipple appearance

  • Any unexplained change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling anywhere on the breast
  • Unexplained swelling of the breast (especially if on one side only)
  • Unexplained shrinkage of the breast (especially if on one side only)
  • Recent asymmetry of the breasts (Although it is common for women to have one breast that is slightly larger than the other, if the onset of asymmetry is recent, it should be checked.)
  • Nipple that is turned slightly inward or inverted
  • Skin of the breast, areola, or nipple that becomes scaly, red, or swollen or may have ridges or pitting resembling the skin of an orange

The inverted nipple was my primary worry.  Then, I woke up with blood on my sheets and dried blood on my nipple 3 days in a row. THAT was my wake-up call.  I called my family doctor immediately and she scheduled not only a mammogram, but a needle biopsy, as well.  At the time, I didn’t realize that it was my left breast.  I thought it was the right.  The radiologist, an old family friend, who did the procedure biopsied not only the right one but took samples from the left as well.  He was instrumental in getting the problem brought to the forefront.

After that there were ultra sounds of the breasts which showed more detail and I also had an MRI of both breasts.  Don’t hesitate because of fear or pain.  It’s your life that matters not your boobs!

breast cancer early detection signs and symptoms appearance

Any nipple discharge—particularly clear discharge or bloody discharge

It is also important to note that a milky discharge that is present when a woman is not breastfeeding should be checked by her doctor, although it is not linked with breast cancer.

Yep.  Bloody is REALLY bad.  Do Not Wait.  Go to the doctor immediately.  NO SYMPTOMS DOESN’T MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE CANCER.  CANCER IS A SNEAKY BASTARD AND MOST TIMES THERE IS NO PAIN.

breast cancer early detection signs and symptoms discharge

Questions

If I have some symptoms, is it likely to be cancer?
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer, but any breast cancer symptom you notice should be investigated as soon as it is discovered. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated.

If I have no symptoms, should I assume I do not have cancer?
Although there’s no need to worry, regular screenings are always important.  Your doctor can check for breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms. During your office visit, your doctor will ask about your personal and family medical history and perform a physical examination. In addition, your doctor may order one or more imaging tests, such as a mammogram.

Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area
A change in the skin texture or an enlargement of pores in the skin of the breast (some describe this as similar to an orange peel’s texture)
A lump in the breast (It’s important to remember that all lumps should be investigated by a healthcare professional, but not all lumps are cancerous.)

breast cancer early detection signs and symptoms feels
A change in the breast or nipple appearance

Any unexplained change in the size or shape of the breast
Dimpling anywhere on the breast
Unexplained swelling of the breast (especially if on one side only)
Unexplained shrinkage of the breast (especially if on one side only)
Recent asymmetry of the breasts (Although it is common for women to have one breast that is slightly larger than the other, if the onset of asymmetry is recent, it should be checked.)
Nipple that is turned slightly inward or inverted
Skin of the breast, areola, or nipple that becomes scaly, red, or swollen or may have ridges or pitting resembling the skin of an orange

breast cancer early detection signs and symptoms appearance
Any nipple discharge—particularly clear discharge or bloody discharge

It is also important to note that a milky discharge that is present when a woman is not breastfeeding should be checked by her doctor, although it is not linked with breast cancer.
breast cancer early detection signs and symptoms discharge
Questions

If I have some symptoms, is it likely to be cancer?
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer, but any breast cancer symptom you notice should be investigated as soon as it is discovered. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated.

If I have no symptoms, should I assume I do not have cancer?
Although there’s no need to worry, regular screenings are always important. Your doctor can check for breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms. During your office visit, your doctor will ask about your personal and family medical history and perform a physical examination. In addition, your doctor may order one or more imaging tests, such as a mammogram.

Do NOT assume you don’t have cancer.  As stated earlier, CANCER IS A SNEAKY BASTARD AND DOESN’T ALWAYS CAUSE PAIN.  YOU CAN HAVE CANCER AND NOT KNOW IT.  I had no pain in my breast that had cancer.  The best thing to do is get regular checkups, breast mammograms, do your self exams and try to catch it early.  LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.  IT WILL TELL YOU SOMETHING IS WRONG.

I caught mine early because I knew the signs and let the doctors do their job.  Not one of them hesitated.  They sent me straight to a surgeon who didn’t wait for any grass to grow and it’s been a whirlwind every since.  In less than 7 months I have gone from diagnosis to mastectomy to chemo.

Don’t be afraid.  Be a fighter.   KNOW THE SIGNS AND STAY ALIVE.

 

Advertisements

About avlanchlovngirl

I believe that we are here for a reason. We just don't know what it is. I believe there are no borders or color differentiations. We're all the same under the skin and we all want the same basic things. I hate injustice and tend to take a stand against what I feel is unfair and just plain wrong. So, read on and comment if you'd like. Happy New Year!
This entry was posted in Current Events, doctors, Education, Freedom, Men and Women, My Little Soapbox, Science, Women's Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s