When people think about breast cancer symptoms, the most common one they usually recognize is a lump in the breast. For decades, doctors told women to do regular breast exams to monitor for lumps or other changes in the breast tissues. This helps thousands of women find those changes and seek medical opinions on what was going on.

The first signs of breast cancer are usually undetectable by breast exam however. The first cancerous cells begin in the ducts or lobules in the breast. They blend in with other nodules in the breast tissue. Most women, at this point, have no change in their overall health.

Breast cancer symptoms usually develop when the cancer cells begin to grow and multiply. When the cancerous cells begin to multiply, they begin to create tumors. That is the point when a mammogram can start to detect them. Some lumps, especially growing close to the skin, are detectable from a breast exam. They often come up as painless little bumps in the breast or in the armpit. For those that have these lumps, a medical exam is necessary to ensure the lump is not cancerous. The doctor may take a small tissue biopsy to see if the cells inside the lump are cancerous or not.

At this point, many people may begin to show other breast cancer symptoms. The breast itself can become tight or heavy. The area around the lump can start to get red or start to retract or pull away. If the cancerous area is near the nipple, a lesion is possible. Any changes in the breast tissue require a medical exam. In most cases, these are benign issues. However, those are early indicators of breast cancer. It is best to have your doctor give you a diagnosis of a benign issue than hope your own medical knowledge is enough to do the trick.

In advanced breast cancer, symptoms get much worse. As with the early stages, they vary from patient to patient. Some of the common ones that patients report are back pain, cough, lung irritation with shortness of breath, weight loss, appetite loss, jaundice, and enlarged glands under the arm. These symptoms themselves are not indicators of breast cancer. But, having a doctor look at them is the smart thing to do. The more advanced the breast cancer gets, the lower the chances of a good prognosis. It is best to get a doctor’s opinion than take a chance.

Raphaelo is medical student; he enjoys talking about medical related topics. To learn more about symptoms of breast cancer, please visit http://www.ofbreastcancer.com.

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