You Know Your Body Better Than Anyone Else
Being proactive with your health means doing whatever you can to lower your chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer. It also means making sure that if breast and ovarian cancer do develop they are caught early, in a treatable stage. After all, with early detection and treatment, the five-year survival rate for breast and ovarian cancer soars to more than 90%!
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Breast cancer symptoms can vary widely — from lumps to dimpling of the skin to changes in breast size, shape and color. It is important to get to know what is normal for your body and bring any changes that do not go away to your doctor’s attention.
What is Normal
- Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
- Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling
If These Symptoms Don’t Go Away, See Your Doctor
- A lump, which can feel like a frozen pea
- Swelling, soreness or rash
- Warmth, redness or darkening
- Change in size or shape of either breast
- Dimpling or prickling of the skin
- Itchy, scaly sore, or rash around the nipple
- Nipple that becomes flat or inverted
- Nipple discharge
- New pain in one spot that does not go away
- Persistent itching
- Bumps that resemble bug bites
When checking your breasts, be sure to check up to your collar bone, in to your breast bone, over to the sides and in your armpits. If you notice any changes, grab a journal, mark what the change is, where is is occurring on the breast and date it. Check back in 2-3 weeks and if it is still there or has gotten worse, be sure to visit a doctor you trust. Keep in mind that it does not mean you have cancer. In fact, 80% of breast lumps are not cancerous and there are a variety of reasons your body can develop changes. For example, breast tissue responds to our bodies’ normal hormones. That’s why some of us feel tenderness or lumpiness in our breasts around our periods. If a lump or change goes away after your period is over, chances are its nothing to worry about.