Early Warning Signs of Breast Cancer: Spotting the Symptoms
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that affect women globally, and it is vital to detect it early to improve chances of successful treatment. Knowing the early warning signs of breast cancer and regularly checking your breasts allows you to detect changes early on and seek medical attention.
The most common early warning sign of breast cancer is breast changes, which includes lumps, swelling, and tenderness in the breast or nipple area. These changes may be accompanied by nipple discharge, redness, and scaly, dimpled, or puckered skin.
If you detect any of these symptoms, it is essential to have the changes checked by a qualified health professional, primarily if they persist for longer than two weeks. Initially, these changes may not be cancerous, so it is always best to seek medical advice. Some benign breast conditions can also cause similar symptoms to breast cancer.
A family history of breast cancer, especially among first-degree relatives, is a considerable risk factor for developing breast cancer. Women with a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer than women without such a family history.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, it is essential to start breast screening at an earlier age and more frequently than those without such a history.
Hormonal changes in a woman’s body can also cause an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Women who started their periods at a younger age, experienced menopause at a later age, or have never given birth are all at higher risk than the general population. Some hormonal therapies like hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have also been associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
It is vital to speak to your doctor about your hormonal history to determine your risk of developing breast cancer.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Unexplained weight loss can be a sign not just of breast cancer but any form of cancer. It is essential to seek medical advice if you experience unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or other unusual symptoms.
While weight loss with cancer may be unintentional, it can also be a side effect of chemotherapy treatments, so seeking medical advice is necessary before starting any diet or weight loss program.
Early detection of breast cancer through regular screenings like mammograms, and self-examinations significantly increases chances of successful treatment. Pay attention to any changes in your breasts, and seek medical advice if you experience any unusual symptoms. A family history of breast cancer, hormonal changes, and unexplained weight loss are all warning signs to look out for.
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