The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump (though, 9 out of 10 breast lumps are not cancerous.). Not everyone who develops breast cancer experiences pain and may not show any signs in the early stage. While many breast cancer symptoms are invisible and unnoticeable without a professional screening such as a mammogram, there are other symptoms that you can be on the lookout for when performing a breast self-examination. It is important for you to know what your bust normally looks and feels like so that you will be able to identify any changes in your breasts. Here are five changes to look out for:
1. A persistent lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm (armpit) area
2. A change in the size or shape of the breast
3. A change in the colour or skin texture of the breast, nipple, or areola (the dark area of skin at the centre of the breast). The breast skin looks dimpled or puckered (like an orange peel).
4. A nipple turned inward into the breast
5. Blood or discharge (fluid) from the nipple
If you notice any of these changes in your breasts... do not panic! Often these symptoms are not due to cancer, but if you notice any changes in your body, schedule an appointment with your doctor so that they will determine if your change is normal or if a review at a later date or further tests are required.
Early detection saves lives.
Be proactive about your bust health. You should never be afraid or self-conscious about examining your breast or having them examined. It is more important to find out that you do not have breast cancer than the time and effort required for an examination or any discomfort you may feel.
However, knowing what to look for does not take the place of having regular screening for breast cancer. Screening mammography can often help find breast cancer early before any symptoms appear. If you are over the age of 40, or have a mother or sister over 40, it is advisable for you or her to go for a mammogram screening, even if you have no symptoms. Subsidised screenings are available. Finding breast cancer early gives you better treatment options and a better chance of recovery.
Join us in making a difference! To help support the fight against breast cancer and those affected by it, part of the proceeds at Dreamline Aesthetics and Dreamline Bodyclinic will be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Read our previous Dream Letters if you're interested in learning more about breast cancer.