Early Symptoms of Cancer You Should Know AboutThe earliest symptom of breast cancer is usually a lump or change in the skin or tissue of the breast. Though it is important to remember that not all lumps or changes indicate breast cancer, it is best never to ignore anything that you feel is unusual. Some of the most common early symptoms for early detection of breast cancer include:
- Any tenderness, lump, or thickening of not only the breast and nipple area, but also the underarm could be a symptom.
- Larger than usual pores (what is sometimes referred to as the orange peel effect) could also be a warning sign
- Any change in appearance, feel, size or shape – any new swelling, shrinking, hardening or asymmetry of the breast (asymmetry itself if not a symptom, because many women have one breast that is bigger than the other, but if you notice a change, that could be a problem)
- Any dimpling, inversion, redness, scaling or swelling of the areola or nipple
- Any unusual discharge; clear or bloody should be investigated. Even milky discharge (at any time other than when a woman is breastfeeding) should be checked out
Do you have an early detection plan?
Many times, when you do notice symptoms, they may be entirely benign and they may be nothing for you to worry about. On the other hand, cancer can creep up on a person completely undetected; showing no noticeable signs of symptoms.
According to estimates, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life. As we all know, early detection gives one the best chance at cancer survival. According to the American Cancer Society, when breast cancer is detected early in the localized stage, the five year relative survival rate is 100%.
So it is important for each woman to have an Early Detection Plan. Regular self exams, scheduling regular visits to the doctor, clinical exams and having mammograms or other imaging tests at the frequency recommended is the first line of defense against breast cancer.
Visit earlydetectionplan.org to create your own Early Detection Plan. Receive reminders to do breast self-exams, and schedule your clinical breast exams and mammograms based on your age and health history. You will also find out about your risk factors; know more about signs and symptoms, and also find instructions on how and when to perform a breast self-exam. You can create the plan online or download the app for Apple Device or your Android Device.