One of the best things a woman can do for her health are regular breast self-exams and staying alert for any unusual changes.
According to the Susan G. Komen Organization, “The most common symptoms are a change in the look or feel of the breast, a change in the look or feel of the nipple and nipple discharge.” However, warning signs of breast cancer are not always the same in everyone, so it's important to be knowledgeable of the many early symptoms.
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm area. But be aware that lumps come in different shapes and sizes and most lumps are not cancerous.
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast.
- Change in the size or shape.
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin.
- Itchy, scaly or rash on the nipple.
- Pulling in of the nipple or other areas.
- Sudden nipple discharge. Get this checked out, especially if the fluid comes out by itself or it is bloody.
- New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away.
Talk to your doctor right away if you notice any of these breast changes. The best time to talk about it is right after you notice it. According to Cancer.gov, “If you notice a lump in one breast, check your other breast. If both breasts feel the same, it may be normal.” If everything checks out, continue to watch your breasts and write down any changes you see or changes you feel.