All kinds of cancer are terrifying, but breast cancer is unique in that it affects women at a greater rate than all other cancers combined. Prognosis is good so long as early detection was achieved, but this can be difficult because not all women know how to properly self-examine their breasts.
Those who do don’t always do it as often as they should. If a sign or symptom slips past your radar, you could be in big trouble. Here are some typical signs of breast cancer that might not concern you right away.
- Your breasts might become scaly, and the skin might become comparable to that of an orange. This is most common in the skin around the nipple. If you notice oddly-shaped ridges along the nipple, it’s time to visit a doctor.
- Your breasts might show signs of shrinking. Cancer often presents on only one side at first, and so you might only notice a single breast getting smaller. A tiny change in size isn’t a big deal–it’s actually quite common because of the tissue inside the breast–but major changes in size are more cause for concern.
- If your nipple is an outie (hint: most are) and suddenly becomes an innie, then there might be a problem. When cancer causes fluctuations in the tissues inside of your breast, it might cause your nipple to turn inward during a reshaping transition. Get it checked out if you notice this change.
- If you notice a dimple on your breast, go to a doctor immediately. Even the tiniest, most unobtrusive dimple may be a sign of breast cancer.
- If you’re not one who’s accustomed to scaly skin as part of a condition, then there might be something else causing the dry skin. If the skin is itchy, irritated, or swollen, get it checked out.
- More obvious is a change in size or a discharge from the nipple, but it’s important to remember that not all symptoms will present with pain–and pain is usually what sends people to the doctor more often. If your breasts seem at all unusual, it’s not something to ignore. You won’t always find a lump, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking a trip to see your doctor. Better safe than sorry!