How to Know if You Have Breast Cancer
The term Breast Cancer is deadliest. The fear about the disease is what refrains us from talking about it. But ignorance about the disease is not doing to help you. It is better to have proper knowledge so that you can take care of yourself to prevent the onset of Breast Cancer or can detect the earliest symptom. The number of Breast Cancer patients is said to be second only to skin cancer. It is the second case of cancer deaths after lung cancer.Men also may get infected by Breast Cancer though the chances are less. If someone in your family had the history of Breast Cancer you need to be more alert. Let us discuss some of the symptoms which indicates the disease
Lump in your breast: If you find a lump in your breast you should not ignore it. Rather you should try to examine it yourself or should consult a physician. A lump may be cased due to many reasons. So you need not panic. It may be cased due to a benign cyst which causes a lump. It may be hard and painless or may cause some pain. If you notice such a lump consult a doctor to make sure it is not Breast Cancer. Iven if it turns out to be Breast Cancer you will be in an early stage to take proper action.
Swelling in or around your breast, collarbone or armpit: An aggressive form of Breast Cancer is inflammatory Breast Cancer. This type is denoted by swelling around your breast, collarbone or armpit. This generally spreads into the lymph nodes of these areas. Such inflammation occurs much before a lump is formed. Hence you must be careful and immediately should meet your doctor if you notice such swellings.
Skin Thickening or Redness: The inflammation in breast and infection in breast need to be diagnosed properly since these two are two different things with totally different gravity. If the breast skin feels like orange peel and gets red, it might be mastitis. This may occur in mothers who are breast feeding. This is a kind of infection. The doctor treats this with antibiotics. If such type of infection does not cure after such medication you should be very cautious and get it checked by the doctor since it might be type of inflammatory Breast Cancer. Such types aggravates very fast and hence you should take immediate steps possible.
Breast warmth and itching:like the above breast warmth and itching may be mastitis. If antibiotics fail to cure this this might even be inflammatory Breast Cancer. Hence in such cases be proactive and see you doctor without any loss of time.
Change in Nipple: Changes in your nipples may be a symptom of Breast Cancer. If the skin of the nipple thickens, gets red or scaly or the nipple turns inwards these might be signs of Breast Cancer. See your doctor right away.
Discharge from Nipple:if there is any other discharge from your nipple other than milk then it is an alarm. In most cases it is due to some injury, infection or a non-carcinogenic tumor. But there is a lot to worry if the discharge contains blood. In such a situation you should immediately consult your doctor and test for Breast Cancer.
Pain in Breast:Pain in the breast are felt by women before the start of menstruation. Once the menstruation begins the pain subsides. There is pain felt in case of infections like mastitis may give some sudden pain and goes away once you start taking medicines. If you experience a breast pain that is severe and persists and is not related to the menstrual cycle it should be checked by your doctor. This might be Breast Cancer or might be a benign breast condition which should be treated properly.
Thus we have discussed some of the symptoms which indicate Breast Cancer. But we cannot run to a doctor unless there are symptoms. These symptoms might go unnoticed unless we check our body from time to time, in this case the breasts. There are some simple checks we can do at home from time to time regularly to observe any unnatural changes occurring in the breasts.
Breast Self-Examination (BSE): This is recommended by the American Cancer society the US preventive Service Task Force. But please understand that these are not substitutes for clinical tests prescribed by a doctor. These checks have their own limitations. These are only to help check your Breast routinely to notice any changes.
Visual BSE:This can be done any time. But it is better to set a time table for the same. Generally this can be done monthly after the completion of your menstruation. You can seat or stand in front of a mirror and unleash your breast. You have to lift and then lower your arms. Notice for any changes after such activity in your breasts. Look for the shape size and appearance of the tissues of your breast. The symptoms to look for are already mentioned above.
Manual BSE:If you have not attained menopause the best time to do the test is after a few days of your menstruation when your breasts are the least tender. This can be done under the shower also where soap and water can help you move your fingers more smoothly. Lie down. Move your fingers over your breast by touching the pads of the fingers rather than the tips. Try to use 3 different types of pressure. The breast expands upto the base of your armpits. You can move your fingers upto the arm pits and again back. This is done to observe any swelling and lumps or any kind of pain. If any abnormality is observed that resembles the symptoms given above you can take steps as mentioned.
Be comfortable with and love your breasts: Know your breast well as to hoe they look and how they behave or change from time to time. Even your partner may notice some changes in your breast like the size or changes in the texture in the tissues of any kind of hardness inside.
High Risk Group: there are certain factors which indicate higher risks for Breast Cancer. You need not get depressed if you fall in these high risk groups. These are only indicative and are discussed only to make you aware and not to frighten you.
Your personal Family history: Knowing your personal family history may help you to assess if you are more prone to Breast Cancer or not.
Hope you are much more informed than you were before reading this article. Clear yourself from all kinds of fear and suspicions. Now you know about the in and out of the disease feel more power in yourself to take better care for yourself and ward off any chances of getting the disease.