Know the Signs & Symptoms
ABOUT BREAST cancer
1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. It is estimated that in 2020, approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer.
There are over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. In 2021, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 49,290 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
Racial disparities in health impacts outcomes and places an undue burden of breast cancer on African American women (women of color). While Breast cancer is the most common cancer among all American women. African American women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than any other ethnicity. African American women also tend to present with the disease at a younger age, at later stages and with more aggressive cancers.
Tumors that originate in the breast tissue can indicate the development of breast cancer, although several types of breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous). The disease is most common in women but can also occur in men.
Many breast cancer symptoms are invisible and not noticeable without a professional screening, but some symptoms can be caught early just by being proactive about your breast health. Catching any cancer, including breast cancer, as early as possible gives medical professionals and patients the best chance to slow or eradicate the disease.
Signs & Symptoms
A Lump in the Breast
The symptom of breast cancer people most often hear about is the discovery of a lump in the breast. This lump may be small and soft or feel like a hard knot in the tissue. While lumps in the breast are common and not always a sign of tumor growth,
it’s important to remember that all lumps should be investigated by a healthcare professional. Sometimes, lumps cannot be felt until cancer has developed into its later stages. Sometimes small growths not felt in palpitation can early sign of breast cancer.
A change in how the breast or nipple looks or feels.
Nipple tenderness or a lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm area. The skin may begin to itch or tingle, and the individual may notice redness. Inflammatory breast cancer can cause swelling and a dimpled look to the skin similar to an orange peel texture.
Nipple that is turned slightly inward or inverted
Dimpling anywhere in the breast
In the early stages of breast cancer, the breast may look completely normal. As cancer progresses, swelling can indicate an issue or remain unnoticed.
Discharge from the Nipple
Nipple discharge is any fluid that comes from the nipple. It may be yellow or white, and quite liquid or thicker in consistency. The secretions may also take on the color of blood or appear like blood floating in mucus. In some cases, pain accompanies the leakage. Discharge from both nipples is more likely caused by a condition outside the breast such as hormonal imbalances. On the other hand, discharge in one nipple suggests disease of the breast, such as infection or cancer.
Page Sources: ACS, nih.gov, breastcancer.org