As with most diseases, much talk revolves around prevention and being proactive in diagnosing problems with your body before they become large-scale problems that will cost the healthcare industry tens of thousands of dollars.
Annual physicals and self-examinations can be important in catching many serious diseases while they can still be aggressively but reasonably treated – such as cancer. After all, cancer rarely just appears all of a sudden.
Breast cancer is one of the most insidious and prevalent cancers cutting down the human population, according to a personal injury attorney servicing Dallas, Texas. To fight it, women are instructed to do monthly self-exams, and feeling a lump and reporting it to a doctor improves recovery rates. But did you know there are other signs you can look for that may actually be a sooner warning than a lump? While catching a lump may improve recovery rates, it’s not 100 percent – it takes looking for signs before you feel the lump.
Here are some very-early warning signs you can look for that may very well keep those lumps from even forming, which may get you even closer to a 100-percent recovery rate:
- Breast pain or tenderness. A lump is usally painless, but when a breast feels more tender than usual or is painful, that could signify the beginning of a tumor before you feel a lump.
- Armpit swelling. This could be something involving the lymph nodes, but lymph nodes could also swell as white cells rise up to start battling a foreign invader (cancer cells, in this case). If your armpit feels swollen, always get it checked out.
- The breast seems flat or indented. If the shape of the breast has changed, this should be checked out. Even if you don’t feel a lump or any pain, seeing a change in shape is a cause for concern, especially if you have not lost or gained any significant weight lately.
- Redness or rash that isn’t explained. There could be several explanations, but if you feel some itching or notice a rash or some redness on your breast, cancer could be a possibility. These are signs that your cancer-fighting white-blood cells are on the attack, though it could also be a skin problem. Either way, it’s something to look at so cancer could be ruled out.
- Watch the nipple. A couple items to notice about the nipple, which could be a weather vane about your health. If you notice your nipple becoming indented, of if you notice any kind of discharge that is not milk, then either of those are cause for concern. Do not take either thing lightly, because your nipple should be consistent regardless of your changing breast size due to weight loss or gain.
Breast cancer is one of those cancers that can be found early just from simple self-examinations – many others aren’t caught until a person feels bad or undergoes a specific test in a hospital or clinic. With the benefit of having early detection at home, there is a caution to make sure to be extra-vigilant and pay attention to any abnormalities and get them checked as soon as possible. The earlier that cancer gets caught, the closer to 100-percent recovery you get, which means the more likely you won’t be another cancer statistic.