Breast cancer remains one of the leading forms of cancer in the United States. When it comes to the question of symptoms, many patients often misjudge or confuse what could be cancer with the facts. Learn the symptoms that should be a warning sign and what not to worry about this difficult topic. If something does seem out of the ordinary, don’t wait to schedule an appointment at Trinity gynecology.
Not All Bumps Are the Same
Lumps are commonly associated with breast cancer, but it is more complicated than that. Breasts naturally vary in lumpiness from woman to woman. It’s nothing to be scared of if you encounter lumps. What does become a problem is when a lump is spotted that appears to be something unlike others; some could even poke outwards on the breast causing a small raised portion. Ones that somehow stand out from the rest could be more of a cause for concern and should be seen by a gynecologist. Another possible sign is the lump changes in size or shape from your last exam or from the time it was noticed.
Check the Nipple
Nipples may naturally secrete discharge at certain times such as arousal or menstruation. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about and should be wiped away quickly. A problem could come when the nipple leaks independently of the other. If it does that and begins regular intervals of discharge, there might be an underlying problem. The color of the discharge is another chance to evaluate what might be going on. Most discharges should have a milk-like texture, any other color or texture might be cause for further tests. Of all colors or possibilities, blood itself is the clearest sign that you should seek help from a medical provider. If it happens on a consistent basis, try to arrange tests and exams as soon as possible.
Mammograms and Other Tests
Mammograms are important in finding possible breast cancer sources before they take hold. For most, it can be caught in time yet this system is far from foolproof. Incorrect answers, as well as missed lumps, have both been reported; that’s why it is important to do self-exams at home that searches for possible lumps. They are easy to do and can be done in the bath or shower.
If something does appear, a doctor will likely run tests to see if they can spot the lump and run a biopsy if they find something. A mammogram might be included in this round of testing to make a better diagnosis. The biopsy takes a piece of tissue and analyzes it for possible cancer. A second test may be ordered if there are any questions or concerns about test results.
Breast cancer can appear in many signs and symptoms. The best way to detect breast cancer is to stay vigilant and conduct self-exams as well as standard testing. Along with a gynecologist’s regular care, it is detectable and treatable.