The most common sign of breast cancer is finding a lump or bump in the breast. Irregularities, like lumps and bumps, are the most common thing women are told to keep an eye and feel out for during a breast self-exam.
But what about breast cancer symptoms that aren’t lumps?
They’re more common than you might realize.
One in six women who discovered their cancer themselves caught it based on a less-obvious breast cancer symptom, like nipple abnormalities and weight loss, and not finding a lump.
So it’s important to pay attention to any unusual symptoms or changes you might be experiencing while staying on top of your mammograms and checkups.
So, here are some of the less known breast cancer signs and symptoms in women, so you know what to look out for besides lumps.
1. You notice your breast skin is dimply, patchy, scaly or inflamed skin.
Pay attention to any changes in the normal appearance of your skin. If you notice any thickening, redness, or rash on the breast skin or around your nipple, get it checked out by a doctor.
2. Your nipples change.
Our nipples come in all different shapes, colors, positions, and sizes, and this is not a problem as long as it’s your normal. However, if your nipples go from being perky and pointed to inverted, again get this checked out by your doctor so that breast cancer can be ruled out.
3. Your nipples start to leak.
This could not be more alarming if your breasts start to leak liquid and it’s not because of a baby. It’s normal to have leakage during pregnancy, breastfeeding and even postpartum and after weaning. But if you notice a random discharge, especially if it’s green or red and it has an odor, this could signal a problem, including cancer of the breast or the pituitary gland.
4. You develop painful swelling
If your breast pain and swelling aren’t linked to your menstrual cycle, you’re not breastfeeding, and it appears suddenly or doesn’t go away, you should contact your doctor.
5. Your nipples are incredibly sensitive
Have your breasts and nipples become so sensitive that you can’t face the stream in the shower? Or that you don’t like your partner touching them anymore? If your breasts suddenly become more sensitive than normal and it has nothing to do with your period or pregnancy, it can be a sign of cancer.
6. You have pain in your armpit
Did you know that your breast tissue extends fast past the actual circular part you cover with your bra? Breast tissue actually goes along the side of your chest and up into your armpits. You can get breast cancer in this bonus boob tissue or cancer can cause lymph nodes in your armpit area to swell. So if this area becomes painful or swollen, or you feel something odd when you are shaving, contact your doctor.
Overall, any noticeable changes to your breasts should be checked by your doctor. When it comes to early detection, you are your own best advocate. Make sure to share this video with the women in your life so they can become familiar with these signs as well! Also, download the detox guide that breast cancer patients and survivors are recommended to follow!