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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Breast cancer symptoms every woman needs to know

According to breast cancer statistics at Breastcancer.org, about 12 percent of women in the United States (that's one in every eight women) will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. According to those statistics, breast cancer is second only to skin cancer for the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women.

While these statistics sound grim, the good news is that both Stage 1 and Stage 2 breast cancers usually respond well to treatment. That means it's important to catch it early. And to do that, you need to know what to look for. These are the breast cancer symptoms that every woman needs to know.

A lump in your breast

While checking for a lump in the breast is probably the most well-known way to check for breast cancer — and research has shown that a large portion of breast cancer survivors found their own breast cancer either through a self exam or by accident — it may not always be clear what a woman should be checking for.

The team at Breastcancer.org suggests performing a breast self exam (BSE) once per month to get used to how your breasts normally feel. That way, if you feel something out of the ordinary, you're more likely to know. Another important thing to note is that "lump" can be a confusing way to describe what you're looking for. While this may make it seem like you're looking for something shaped like a marble, lumps in the breast can range from spherical shaped, to a general "thickening" of the breast tissue. That's why it's important to know what your breasts normally feel like so you can tell if anything suddenly feels off.

Pain or tenderness

Although lumps in the breast are often painless, experiencing pain or tenderness in your breast may be a red flag that something serious is going on. This is different from the pain and tenderness you may feel right before or during your period.

Pain is most commonly associated with breast cancer if there is a tumor that is pushing against healthy tissue or if you have the less common form of breast cancer known as inflammatory breast cancer. If your pain is new or suddenly different from something you've experienced before, talk to your doctor.

A flattening or indentation of the breast

We all know that breasts can seemingly deflate with age, however if you notice that one of your breasts seems suddenly flat or you see an indentation in your breast tissue, you should make an appointment with your doctor. This type of change in your breast tissue "may indicate a tumor that cannot be seen or felt."

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