The 30th edition of “Pink October”, an awareness campaign for the prevention and fight against breast cancer, has just been launched. A pathology that must be detected as early as possible to increase the chances of recovery. You must therefore be alert to the slightest unusual sign.
the appearance of a mass
One of the best known symptoms of this disease, which develops from cells of the mammary gland, is the appearance of a lump in a breast, generally not painful, underlines theInstitut national du cancer. This may be visible and/or detectable upon palpation. It is therefore advisable to self-examine regularly. This mass is hard in consistency, has irregular contours, and is not mobile because it adheres to the tissues.
A change in the appearance of the breast
The formation of small hollows on the breast, similar to dimples, as well as a reddish skin rash, potentially due to the blockage of the lymphatic vessels by cancer cells, are also symptoms that should alert you. Breast cancer can, on the other hand, cause a rapid change in the size of the breast and its texture (“orange peel” appearance). In some people, the nipples may point inward (inverted nipples).
Lymph nodes under the armpit
Another sign that should also be taken seriously and prompt you to carry out screening: the presence of swollen and hard lymph nodes in the armpits. Indeed, cancer cells can escape from the breast and spread throughout the body. And the lymph nodes located under the armpits (axillary lymph nodes) are the first to be potentially affected. Examining these lymph nodes under a microscope allows us to learn more about the spread of the cancer.
In cases of breast cancer, abnormal and spontaneous nipple discharge, i.e. fluid leaking from one or both nipples, may occur. If they occur outside of a breastfeeding period and there are traces of blood, you should consult a doctor without delay, knowing that this is not systematically synonymous with breast cancer. Other conditions can cause these secretions. Note that if there is a discharge, it is recommended not to self-maintain it by pressing on the nipple.
Nausea, bone pain…
If breast cancer is not diagnosed early enough, other so-called “late” signs may appear, such as bone and joint pain, nausea, loss of appetite, weight, headaches, or even deterioration of vision, which becomes blurry. Other symptoms that only appear once the cancer has grown: difficulty breathing as well as a dry cough, or even yellowing of the skin.
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