Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases around the world, that can turn life-threatening if care is not taken at the right time. It is a disease whose presence can be detected by some clear-cut signs. Research has shown that breast cancer is the most fatal among Hispanic women. It also significantly affects Caucasian and Asian women. Regular screening and mammograms must be done to check for signs of breast cancer. Early detection is essential, as it increases the chance of survival. Read on for some unmistakable signs of breast cancer that women over the age of 35 need to watch out for.
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- Persistent coughing
The spread of cancerous cells in the lungs can be the reason behind a dry cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat. Since these conditions are reminiscent of common cold or flu, these symptoms are naturally ignored. The fact of the matter is that cancer cells irritate the inner lining of the lungs, and create obstructions in fluidity buildup. Persistent symptoms, along with chest pain, must immediately be reported, and a doctor’s consultation must be sought.
- Change is shape and size of breasts
Women need to be well-accustomed to their anatomy and develop a habit of noticing or checking the size of their breasts, to identify any abnormal change, even the slightest. Anything unusual must be promptly checked and not taken for granted.
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- Rashes or redness
It is a common symptom and can be easily confused with a reaction to some soap, or a tight bra. However, redness around the nipple can be a warning sign and requires immediate attention if it persists for long.
- Digestive problems
Some digestive problems associated with breast cancer are abnormal bloating of the stomach, constipation, inconsistencies in the bladder, and tenderness. Since many of these are common issues related to other medical conditions, they are often overlooked by women. But breast cancer results in acute hormonal changes that affect digestion and the functioning of organs. Pain in the abdomen or pelvis, bowel irritation, loss of appetite and sudden weight loss put together are sure signs that warrant a closer examination.
Development of any type of cancer is generally supplemented with the problem of fatigue. The problem, in this case, is that fatigue can be attributed to a number of other factors, such as workouts, thyroid, diabetes or hormonal disorders. Irrespective of the cause, a case of fatigue should never be neglected. Sleep disorders and depression might be additional inconveniences, and hence due treatment is required.
- Swelling in the armpit or collarbone
Lumps are almost sure signs of breast cancer, but there are chances of recovery and survival if they get identified in the initial stages itself. Women might check their breasts for lumps specifically, but any abnormal growth of tissue in these two areas must also be given due attention. There are some methods of identifying an abnormal lump. Thickening near the breast that persists through the menstrual cycle, changes in the contour of the breasts, dimpled or puckered or scaly texture of the breast’s skin, red skin on the breast or nipple, are some identifiable traits.
- Nipple discharge
It stems from a benign condition. It is considered as one of the earliest symptoms of breast cancer. The discharge can be clear, yellow, white, or green in color. It gets released as the nipples are squeezed or compressed. A nipple discharge must be followed by an immediate check-up, wherein the doctor would determine whether the discharge is physiological (normal) or pathological (abnormal). These discharges can also be caused due to pregnancy, breastfeeding or even jogging, however, medical clearance is unavoidable.
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