Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms Every Woman Should Know about
The treatment of breast cancer has evolved, but it is a common consensus that knowing what to look out for goes a long way in detecting it early, and preventing its spread.
Breast cancer is a gender-based illness that is common to women only. Often, when a person gets a cancer diagnosis, it often serves as a death sentence, especially if it has progressed. It should not have to be, as there are ways to detect the illness early and hopefully nip it in the bud.
As a woman, you have to know how your breast feels daily; it will go a long way in helping with early detection. Going for regular screening and mammogram, to rule out doubts is also a good measure to take. Note that a mammogram does not always discover cancerous growth.
The most common way of detecting the deadly ailment is by feeling for lumps or a mass. The two are usually not painful, but sometimes, a mass can cause pain. When you detect any of these, it is advised to have it tested immediately.
Aside from the above, there are other ways to detect a lump. They include:
- Sudden swelling of the breast; this can happen even if you've felt no lump.
- Skin irritation that takes the shape of an orange peel.
- Feeling pain in the breast or nipple.
- The nipple shrinking inwards
- The nipple or breast hardens and turns red.
- Unusual emission from the nipple.
Cancer sometimes spread under the arm or collarbone, which causes a lump or swelling in the lymph nodes. It can occur before you feel any of the symptoms in your breast.
All hope is not lost though, as you can reduce your risk level. Here are some ways to reduce your breast cancer risks:
- Reduce your alcohol intake to at least one drink per day.
- Avoid smoking, especially if you are approaching menopause.
- Exercise more to keep your weight at a healthy level.
- Reduce your dose of hormonal treatments.
- Breastfeed your baby; it creates a protective effect.
- Avoid exposing yourself to treatments done with radiation.
- Maintain a healthy diet, eating more natural foods and vegetables.
Note that contraceptives like birth control pills by releasing hormones can increase your chances of having cancer. However, the danger is minimal and diminishes when you stop taking the pill. Also, contraceptives reduce the likelihood of having endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer.
Cancer is life-threatening, but a healthy lifestyle and constant checkup help mitigate the danger and always seek the counsel of your physician to know what more you can do to prevent it.