Breast Cancer And Depression
11 Sneaky Signs of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can sneak up on you before you have any sort of clue as to what's going on. In part, that's because most women are on the lookout for a lump in their breasts — and not for other common indicators. That's a mistake, because while a lump is the most recognized symptom of this dreaded disease, it's by no means the only one. Different kinds of cancer produce different symptoms, and many cancers produce no lumps at all.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that over 190,000
women will be diagnosed with breast cancer annually. One in 8 women will contract breast cancer in her lifetime. Though the disease gone untreated can be deadly, when breast cancer
early, in what is called the "localized stage," the five-year survival rate is
100 percent. Being aware of possible symptoms other than a lump in your breast could save your life.
Are your nipples slightly sore or somewhat painful to touch? Are they discharging fluid that is not breast milk?
Some describe cancerous breast skin taking on the texture of an orange peel.
Though you apply ointment or antibiotics, does the sore persist?
Did the cough come out of nowhere (so is unrelated to recovery from a cold or the flu) and is just hanging on?
Have your bowel movements gotten irregular? Are you suffering from diarrhea or constipation for no apparent reason?
Are you feeling very weak or tired, no matter how much sleep you're getting?
Have you gained or lost a noticeable amount of weight for no reason?
Have you discovered a lump in your armpit, rather than your breast? Breast tissue extends as far as the armpits; cancerous lumps won't necessarily be restricted to the breast.
Has one breast gotten noticeably larger than the other?
Itchiness that won't go away could point to fluid build-up, poor lymph function, or your body trying to create new blood vessels for breast tumors, warns BreastCancer.org.
Are you suffering from back pain that doesn't ease up with stretching, chiropractic treatment, or rest? Breast cancer can cause back pain when tumors grow and push on nerves and ligaments, or when the cancer metastasizes, becoming bone cancer.
You'll be more likely to know if these symptoms could suggest a problem if you're actually familiar with what your breasts usually look and feel like, so don't be shy. Inspect your breasts regularly — a few days after your period if you still have one, or around the same day of every month if you don't. During your monthly self-exam, look at your nipples and breast skin, and gently squeeze your breasts and the tissue around the breast for lumps. About 20 percent of the time, breast cancers are found by physical examination rather than by mammography, reports BreastCancer.org, so don't overlook this important self-care tool. And remember to examine the area of your armpit as well.
Video: 11 ridiculous breast cancer myths
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