According to the American Cancer Society's statistics, breast cancer ranks second (after skin cancer) in the most common types of malignancy among Americans. It affects more than 250 000 women annually.
Each of your breasts consists of 12 to 20 lobes, which are made up of milk glands, milk ducts, adipose tissue (fat), lymph nodes, blood vessels and nerves. Sometimes abnormal cells can appear in any part of the breast. They usually tend to grow and multiply out of control, causing breast tumor formation.
If these cells have ability to invade into adjoining tissues or metastasize to other body areas, it is called breast cancer (or malignancy). In the majority of cases, this trouble occurs initially in milk ducts or glands. Scientists say that development of the breast malignancy is associated with hereditary gene mutations. That's why breast cancer sufferers often have family history of the same trouble.
However there are also several potentially modifiable risk factors, like alcohol misuse, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, consumption of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, which can lead to breast cancer occurrence.
Although neoplasm in the mammary may exist for a long time, without causing any discomfort, it can be detected on the early stage. Check out these warning signs of breast cancer:
#1. New lump – don't panic, if you've noticed a lump in your breast during self-examination. Most of the lumps are benign and are caused by hormonal alterations. Get examined by medical professional, if your lump doesn't go away after menstruation.
#2. Changes in the breast appearance – you may find that your breast has changed in size or shape.
#3. Swelling of the part of breast – local swelling or densification of the part of breast can be a warning sign of cancer development.
#4. Nipple changes – women with breast cancer often say that their nipple has turned inward.
#5. Lumps in the armpit – not only the breast lumps should alert you. The same formations in the underarm can also indicate a trouble in your mammary gland.
#6. «Orange peel» - breast malignancy can manifest in redness, irritation, roughness or dimpling of the breast skin, which usually look like orange skin.
#7. Nipple discharge – seek for medical help as soon as possible, if you've noticed abnormal (not milky when breastfeeding) discharge from your nipple.
#8. Pain – it's not a specific symptom of breast cancer. However painful sensations in any part of your breast or nipple can indicate malignancy occurrence.
#9. Translucent vessels – wide net of vessels supplies your breasts with blood (arteries) and carry it then back to the heart (veins). Veins can become visible on the breast surface, if having cancerous neoplasms inside this breast.
#10. Rash or sore – new rashes and non-healing sores can indicate breast cancer development.
#11. Nipple discoloration or its structure changes – your nipple can get darker or reddish, scaly or thick as a result of breast cancer growth.
#12. Extreme fatigue – inexplicable long-term tiredness is a warning sign of numerous disorders, including cancer.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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