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What are the first warn­ing Signs Of Breast Can­cer? What does ear­ly-stage breast Can­cer Feel Like? Do you Feel unwell with ear­ly breast Cancer? No woman wants to hear a diag­no­sis of breast can­cer from her physi­cian. It is a ter­ri­fy­ing prospect, the idea that one’s breasts,  sym­bols of moth­er­hood and wom­an­hood, are threat­ened by seri­ous dis­ease. But it is more than that. Breast can­cer left undi­ag­nosed and untreat­ed can, even­tu­al­ly, turn fatal if it metas­ta­sizes to oth­er parts of the body. For­tu­nate­ly, women today are much more astute about their bod­ies than even their moth­ers and grand­moth­ers were. They pay atten­tion to changes in their phys­i­cal­i­ty and don’t deny or post­pone get­ting pro­fes­sion­al help for poten­tial problems. In this post, we delve into the ear­ly warn­ing signs of breast can­cer and sug­gest what you should be check­ing for if you see changes in your breasts. If you notice even one of these in your own breasts, it’s time for a vis­it to your physi­cian. Only she/he can say with cer­tain­ty whether there is cause for gen­uine alarm. If so, she/he will talk to you about the next steps and the impor­tance of an ear­ly diag­no­sis and future treat­ment options.

- You’ve Noticed a Lump

If you per­form self-exam­i­na­tions of your breasts reg­u­lar­ly (and you should) and you feel a lump, even a tiny one, call your doc­tor. Many of these are sim­ply benign cysts that are noth­ing to wor­ry about. But we can­not stress enough that even a small lump needs to be assessed by your doc­tor, who will then deter­mine whether you need to be seen by a specialist.

- Discoloration In The Skin Or Nipple

Any changes to the colour of your breast, no mat­ter how minor, require atten­tion from your physician.

- If You Detect a Change In The Size Of One Of Your Breast, Have It Checked

These types of changes are dif­fer­ent than a notice­able lump. If your breast feels larg­er, or dif­fer­ent in shape, make an appoint­ment with your doctor.

- Changes In The Texture Of Your Skin

Your breasts should be checked by a doc­tor if you notice that your breast skin, or the nip­ples, look and feel dif­fer­ent. Some­times an affect­ed breast takes on the look and feel of dim­pled orange peel, and this is a sign that some­thing might be wrong.

- Are They Swollen, Tender Or Sore?

Most women expe­ri­ence swelling and ten­der­ness every month when their peri­od is due. This ear­ly warn­ing sign will feel dif­fer­ent than the changes that occur dur­ing your month­ly cycle.

- Your Breast Feels Unusually Warm

Although this does­n’t mean there is def­i­nite­ly a tumour, it is cause for con­cern. Changes in the tem­per­a­ture of your breasts when you touch them, if they feel warm or even hot, means you need to fol­low up with your doctor.

- Do They Hurt When You Touch Them?

If you expe­ri­ence pain or even some dis­com­fort when you touch or mas­sage the skin of your breasts or nip­ples, have them checked. This means, per­haps, some­thing is wrong. Even minor pain could be an indi­ca­tion that a small tumour is present. Even a benign lump can cause pain, so it’s best to err on the side of cau­tion and let your doc­tor know what’s hap­pen­ing. If she agrees that your dis­com­fort is out of the ordi­nary, she will send you to a spe­cial­ist for fur­ther assess­ment and diagnosis.

- Discharge From Your Nipples

Any time you’re notic­ing dis­charge from your nip­ple or nip­ples and you’re not a new mom who is breast­feed­ing, you should see your doc­tor. Dis­charge can be a clear sign that some­thing is amiss.

- Your Breast/Breasts Feel Itchy & Is/Are Easily Irritated

Again, these may not be cause for con­cern, but they might be. It’s always best to talk to your doc­tor if you feel your breasts are “behav­ing” dif­fer­ent­ly in any way.

- The Skin Of Your Breast Or Nipple Is Flaking

Changes to the skin don’t only come in the form of dis­col­oration or lumpi­ness. Some­times the skin of your breast or nip­ple may begin flak­ing as if you had a sun­burn. If this hap­pens, it’s best to con­sult your doc­tor. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant if it hap­pens in con­junc­tion with anoth­er one of the symp­toms we’ve men­tioned here. Catch­ing breast can­cer in its ear­li­est stages is cru­cial for treat­ment options to be most effec­tive. Once you’ve been seen by your doc­tor, you will know what to do next, and the treat­ments avail­able to you. First of all, you need a firm and com­plete diagnosis. This is done in dif­fer­ent ways: blood work, a mam­mo­gram, and if nec­es­sary, a biop­sy of any lump or lumps that an oncol­o­gist dis­cov­ers. These spe­cial­ists are able to detect even a pea-sized lump and will rec­om­mend a biop­sy if they feel fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion is required. Pre­ven­tion is always the best way of avoid­ing breast cancer. Here are a few ways you can ensure that this diag­no­sis does­n’t hap­pen. But if it does, if you do turn out to be one of the thou­sands of women each year who receive this news, take heart. Breast can­cer is not the death sen­tence it once was. Caught ear­ly, it can be treat­ed suc­cess­ful­ly and you can live a long and healthy life, com­plete­ly can­cer-free. How­ev­er, you need to care for your breasts through­out your life in order to keep them healthy. Here are some of the rec­om­men­da­tions offered by the Mayo Clin­ic for pre­vent­ing breast cancer:

1- Reduce Or Eliminate Alcohol From Your Diet

This is num­ber one on the list, accord­ing to the Clin­ic. No more than one drink per day is advised, as even a small amount more, say two or three glass­es of wine, can increase your chances of devel­op­ing breast cancer.

2- Lots Of Physical Activity Helps

This is true for all types of can­cer pre­ven­tion. Keep­ing active, even walk­ing briskly three or four times per week for 40 min­utes, helps con­trol your weight and reduces your risk.

3- Keep Your Weight Down

This applies to most can­cer pre­ven­tion reg­i­mens. Reduc­ing your intake of red meat, sat­u­rat­ed fats and cho­les­terol is help­ful in pre­vent­ing many forms of can­cer, not just breast cancer.

4- Reconsider Hormone Replacement Therapy After Menopause

Although the research is not yet ful­ly con­clu­sive, some stud­ies indi­cate that wom­en’s risk of devel­op­ing breast can­cer increas­es with HRT (hor­mone replace­ment ther­a­py). If you are con­sid­er­ing this, talk over the risks thor­ough­ly with your doc­tor. She may advise against it, par­tic­u­lar­ly if there is a his­to­ry of breast can­cer in your family.

5- When You Have Babies, Breastfeed If You Can

Stud­ies show that women who breast­feed have a low­er risk of devel­op­ing breast can­cer than women who don’t, or women who’ve nev­er had chil­dren. Not all women are able to breast­feed suc­cess­ful­ly, and of course, there is no rea­son to feel bad about that if it hap­pens. How­ev­er, research does show that breast­feed­ing reduces your risk.

6- Depending On Your Age, Get a Mammogram

what are the first warning signs of breast cancer The sci­ence on how often you should be screened has changed. Women under 60 gen­er­al­ly don’t need mam­mo­grams each year, as was at one time the stan­dard rec­om­men­da­tion. Today the guide­lines are dif­fer­ent. Your doc­tor will know what’s best for you, so con­sult her when mak­ing your decision. Mam­mo­grams can detect a lump long before you can see or feel them, so they are an impor­tant tool for pre­ven­tion. And if there is a his­to­ry of breast can­cer in your fam­i­ly, your doc­tor may decide you should have a mam­mo­gram every year, or per­haps every oth­er year. Take her advice! Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Can­cer Soci­ety, women have a 90 per­cent, five-year sur­vival rate if their breast can­cer is caught ear­ly and treat­ed imme­di­ate­ly. That is a far cry from the doom and gloom prog­no­sis this type of can­cer once engendered. But the key to that suc­cess is twofold: pre­ven­tion and ear­ly detection. It’s impor­tant, for many rea­sons, that you take care of your breasts by doing reg­u­lar self-assess­ments. If you don’t know how to do this prop­er­ly, ask your doc­tor or do some online research. A self-exam is easy to do, and quick. If you find any­thing – a lump, a bit of ten­der­ness that feels wrong – con­tact your doc­tor immediately. Breast can­cer is one of med­i­cine’s great suc­cess sto­ries. It has not been elim­i­nat­ed, but thanks to sci­ence and wom­en’s knowl­edge of their bod­ies, it is not as scary as it once was. And it is cer­tain­ly not a death sen­tence any­more, as it was even 50 or 60 years ago. You can do a lot to pre­vent ever hear­ing this diag­no­sis. Main­tain a reg­u­lar exer­cise sched­ule. Eat a healthy diet most of the time. Con­sume lit­tle or no alco­hol, or save a splurge for a spe­cial occa­sion, like your wed­ding anniver­sary or birth­day. Be your best health care advo­cate by insist­ing on get­ting the fullest infor­ma­tion you can if you do devel­op breast cancer. Tak­ing these active steps ensures your body stays healthy and strong for as long as pos­si­ble. Work­ing hard to reduce your risk of breast can­cer means you’ll have plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties to cel­e­brate a long and hap­py life, cancer-free.

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