10 Breast Cancer Warning Signs Every Woman Should Know!

Breast Cancer Warning Signs
Breast Cancer Warning Signs

Breast Cancer Warning Signs: Breast cancer is undoubtedly a very deadly disease and it affects one in eight women at some point of their lives. However, there are many misconceptions about this disease among women across the globe.

It is a disease where the atypical cells have uncontrollable growth. Some women think that breast cancer is common in older age or it can be diagnosed only by specialized doctors.

The fact is, that often in the early stages, breast cancers goes undetectable in tests. But, it is common for women with breast cancer to observe certain signs and symptoms in the early stage itself.

Breast cancer can be caused because of certain lifestyle habits and due to genetic reasons as well. The most common risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Onset of menstruation before the age of 12
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Lack of exercise
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Age older than 50
  • Genetic mutations

In this article, we will discuss such prominent warnings signs of breast cancer that you should not ignore.

1. Lump in the Armpit which Pains a Lot:

A lump is the most common sign for breast cancer but cancerous lumps can also develop in the arms or armpits. It is advised to check for such unexplained lumps in the armpits and around the collarbones.

These lumps under the armpits can also be caused by other medical reasons such as cysts or fibrocystic breast conditions.

2. A change in Shape and Size of Breasts Suddenly:

Any sudden change in the size of your breasts can be a warning sign of breast cancer which needs immediate medical attention.

These changes include enlargement or shrinking of one or both breasts. If these changes are unexplained and are not related to pregnancy or menstruation cycle, then talk to a doctor as soon as possible.

[Also Read: 10 Warning Signs of Colon Cancer You Shouldn’t Ignore]

3. Unexpected Nipple Discharge:

Women may observe discharge from their nipples which can be yellow, green or even red in color. The discharge can be either thick or thin in texture.

While is pretty normal to have nipple discharge if you are breastfeeding, however, in any other condition a discharge than happened suddenly without any apparent reason is something that has to be screened immediately.

There are other reasons too for a nipple discharge which are non-cancerous such as thyroid disease, infections in the breast and usage of birth control pills. In any case, speak to your doctor for better clarity.

4. Swelling in the Breasts:

A common sign of breast cancer is swelling in the entire breast or just in an area. Women with breast cancer generally observe that one breast appears different in size than the other.

It is common for some people to have different sized breasts, but if there certain tightness in the skin along with swelling, then don’t hesitate to take advice from a doctor.

[Related: 15 Cancer Symptoms Most Women Often Ignore!]

5. Pain in the Breasts:

A cancer in the breasts can create changes in the cells which result in aches and discomfort in the breast and surrounding area.

Even though mostly breast cancer doesn’t cause pain but if you have been feeling any tenderness or pain in the breasts, then get yourself checked.

6. Itchy Breasts:

Any sudden itchiness or irritation around the breasts or nipples should not be ignored. Any rashes or constant feeling of itchiness on your breasts can be a warning sign of breast cancer.

This skin irritation can also be caused by other environmental factors, but in any case, medical advice is mandatory.

7. Dimpling area on the Breast:

Dimpling or puckering of the skin in your breasts can be a subtle sign of breast cancer. The cancerous cells cause accumulation of lymph fluids in the breast which results in dimpling.

[Also Read: 10 Best Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching and Burning]

8. Red Nipples:

Red and flaky nipples can be caused by rough and tight bras or some other environmental factors. But they are also possible signs of breast cancer.

You may observe crusty skin around or on the areola, if so seek medical care immediately.

9. Changes in Nipples:

Breast cancer can cause inversion or reversion in the nipples. As there is a change in the cells, the nipples may look different in size.

And even thought a change is nipples can also be caused during ovulation or menstruation cycle, but still, it is not bad to have a word with an expert just for Confirmation:

10. Changes in Texture of Skin of the Breasts:

Due to inflammations, breast cancer can cause change in the appearance of the skin such as thickening of the breasts or scaly skin.

A change in texture can also result from other skin issues, but only an expert can give a final word about it. You should consider seeing a doctor if a part of your breast feels thicker and firmer.

[Also Read: 11 Bad Habits That Are Actually Good for You]

Wrapping Up:

If you had been facing such signs and symptoms continuously, then get yourself examined. For any concerns regarding your breasts, speak with your doctor immediately.

Changes in your breasts can be completely normal sometimes caused by cysts, eczema, infections and dermatitis but with proper medical advice, it can be determined whether these changes are something to be worried about.

Just like all other types of cancers, a focus on prevention is always better than cure. A healthy lifestyle can help in preventing breast cancer and may other deadly ailments.

It is advised not to assume and consider these signs as age-related issues. Though the increasing cases of breast cancer are very scary, but an early diagnosis can make a huge difference in the success of the treatment. Always remember that early detection can save your life.

Written by Dr Maria MD

MD Board Certified physician
8 years of experience in health care
Former Naturopath at the UK
Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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