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Breast cancer awareness month 2018: Know about the early and late symptoms of breast cancer

Women in their late 20s and early 30s are falling prey to this cancer. Genetics, lifestyle issues, environmental factors are among other reasons cited for the surge in the numbers of victims.

Like most other cancers, breast cancer does not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. They usually appear when the tumour grows large enough to be felt as a lump in the breast or when the cancer spreads to surrounding tissues and organs. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a firm or hard lump that feels very different from the rest of the breast. It may feel like it is attached to the skin or the surrounding breast tissue. Women in their late 20s and early 30s are falling prey to this cancer. Genetics, lifestyle issues, environmental factors are among other reasons cited for the surge in the numbers of victims. One way to be safe is to ensure early diagnosis and the best way to do so is going for a mammogram. This is an efficient diagnostic tool with greater accuracy and is arguably a useful preventive tool too. Breast cancer is usually silent and so there is no pain in the beginning.

There are different kinds of breast cancers and they manifest in different ways while in ductal carcinoma is a firm or hard lump in lobular carcinoma often does not form a lump. It feels more like the tissue in the breast is getting thicker or harder.

Early signs of breast cancer

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The sings that appear during the initial stages of breast cancer include:

  • changes in the shape or size of the breast
  • changes in the nipple, such as a nipple that suddenly starts to point inward (called an inverted nipple)
  • discharge that comes out of the nipple without squeezing it or that has blood in it

Sometimes these early signs are brushed off because they look trivial. However, it is these signs that one needs to take seriously to avert any consequences. The earlier it is diagnosed the better. But since the early signs don t come with any sensation of pain they are not taken seriously. In fact, one should keep in mind that cancer often spreads silently so expecting it to give pains right in the beginning is the biggest mistake. Any changes in the breast should be reported to the doctor immediately.

Late signs of breast cancer

If the cancer progresses and grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body then the symptoms could include:

  • bone pain
  • weight loss
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • jaundice
  • shortness of breath
  • cough
  • headache
  • double vision
  • muscle weakness

Late symptoms of breast cancer usually suggests the cancer has spread to other organs.

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