Content of Article
Lump in breast or armpit Discharge from nipple Changes in shape of breast, asymmetry Retraction of nipple Wound, exfoliation and flaking in nipple Swelling, redness and pain in breast

Early diagnosis saves life in breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Despite this fact, many women refrain from the self-examination due to fear of palpating a lump. However, early diagnosis may help elimination of the breast cancer. Early diagnosis saves one out of every 8 women. Chemotherapy is not required for breast cancers that can be detected at an early stage. Therefore, self-examination once a month is important for every woman older than 20 and it is necessary to visit a doctor immediately, if any change is recognized in the breast.

Lump in breast or armpit

The most common admission complaint is a ‘palpable lump’ in breast cancer. The lump is usually pain-free, moves under the hand and has irregular margins. Sometimes, palpation provokes sensitivity or the lump may adhere to the chest wall. Undoubtedly, not all palpable tumors are a malignant tumor. Lumps can be palpated in many women at the reproductive age before the menstrual cycle; these are mostly benign breast diseases, such as fibroadenoma and fibrocystic disease. However, it is necessary to visit a doctor, if there is no reduction in size of the lump in the period or it enlarges within a short time. Sometimes, the lump is too small to be palpable and the axillary lymph node can be palpated earlier. This picture may also point to breast cancer.

Discharge from nipple

Certain hormonal changes result in discharge of milk-like fluid from the nipple. However, red to brown discharge may arise out of a certain breast tumor, called “papilloma”. In this case, it is necessary to visit a doctor.

Changes in shape of breast, asymmetry

It is very important to visit a doctor in case of asymmetry or any changes in shape of the breast. Thickening or any change in the skin of breast requires a visit to a doctor.

Retraction of nipple

Retraction of the nipple may also herald the breast cancer.

Wound, exfoliation and flaking in nipple

Red-pink wound, exfoliation and flaking in the nipple may be the alarming sign of breast cancer.

Swelling, redness and pain in breast

Painful, swollen and pink to red breast may point to an inflammatory form of breast cancer. However, the condition may also be secondary to the ‘mastitis’, inflammation of the breast, due to lactation in breastfeeding mothers. In such cases, the person should be examined by a doctor and be followed up with relevant imaging modalities and it is also very important to biopsy the breast quickly, if required.