6 Breast Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t Lumps
When we talk about breast cancer, most of us would associate lump as the symptom in this condition.
We’re often told to look out for unusual bumps during regular self-checkups at home, but as a matter of fact, not all lumps and bumps are related to breast cancer.
While yes, it is the most common symptom, there are also other signs that you should be aware of. Here are some key signs and symptoms of breast cancer that aren’t lumps.
1. Skin dimples
When some parts of your skin are pulled in, it’s called a dimpled effect. This is because tumors can form deep in your breast and cause inflammation around them that tethers to the ligaments and skin. Be sure to raise your arms when inspecting your breasts, as this symptom is more obvious when your arms are stretched.
2. Nipple starts to turn inward
There’s nothing wrong with having inverted nipples but it is concerning if your nipple used to stick out and starts to get pulled inward. Nipple retraction could happen because of a tumor that’s located in the center of your breast. It involves the milk ducts, causing them to shorten and pulls the nipple in. For a thorough check on this symptom, put your hands up and if you spot the slightest sign of your nipple retracting, consult your doctor immediately.
3. Discharge from nipple
Your nipples aren’t supposed to have any discharge UNLESS you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. But if you’re not and yet you have blood or clear discharge from your nipples, please go get it checked. Nipple discharge can occur because of noncancerous tumors in the breast, called papillomas, which can cause a bloody discharge. Other than that, birth control, breast infections and having fibrocystic (lumpy) breasts can also cause nipple discharge. Although having discharge from your nipples may not be a definite sign of breast cancer, it is best if you seek professional help to help determine the exact cause and treatment.
4. Redness or a rash
Your breast can be easily irritated from your bra, lotions and even soap. However, if you do notice redness or rash on your breast that feels warm when touched and doesn’t heal overtime, it could be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer. Though you should also take note, skin infection cellulitis from nipple piercings also exhibits similar symptoms.
5. Change in breast or nipple
Keep track of any sudden changes in your breasts. For example, one side of your breast becomes bigger than the other or when the shape somehow changes. This could be a ductal or lobular breast cancer which causes asymmetry in your breasts.
6. Breast or nipple pain
There are a number of harmless causes for breast pain including puberty, menstruation, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Breast or nipple pain is usually related to cancer due to some degree of inflammation. Seek medical consultation if your breast or nipple pain is accompanied by other symptoms including breast lump, swelling, skin dimpling, nipple retraction or nipple discharge. You may need to even go for a mammogram or ultrasound just to be sure if it’s cancerous or not.
Remember, early breast cancer detection means that you get seek treatment options earlier. If you find something totally off with your body, never ever take it lightly. Consult a doctor and do self-checkups regularly.