We often are made aware of the importance of regular periodic breast examinations, looking for lumps which may be symptoms of breast cancer, but how often do we hear about the other equally important signs which may also be symptoms of cancer? Yes, they do exist and should be as much a part of those regular periodic breast examinations as are the lumps for which we look and hope not to find.
The first is when a breast feels unusually warm or hot to the touch. This may well be a sign of what is called inflammatory breast cancer. While this is a rare type of cancer, it does still occur and is known to be a very aggressive type of cancer so it is important to be aware of its symptoms and to act immediately if there seem to be any possible signs of it.
The second sign that we don’t often here about is when an ordinary looking nipple that suddenly takes on an unordinary look is also another sign of possible cancer. If a nipple becomes flat, inverted or distorted in any way it is important to have it checked immediately.
The third sign is what I term the super itch. Again this is something that should be checked immediately. An itchy breast or nipple is again a little known but very real sign of a possible cancer.
Fourthly, the skin of the breast and also around the breast takes on a, for lack of a better term, dimpled appearance, looking much like a piece of the skin of an orange.
Fifth, a consistently swollen breast. Many women look at an increase in breast size as a blessing. This isn’t necessarily so. If the size of a breast increases, there has to be a reason and it is important to have it checked out in case this reason is cancer.
Sixth, the breast becomes red and blotchy. Also it may develop a rash. This is another sign of a possibility of inflammatory breast cancer and should be checked out as soon as possible.
All of these signs are as valid as the lumps when it comes to possible signs of cancer and should be watched for and if they should arise, they should be examined and tested by a medical professional as soon as possible. Cancer doesn’t wait once it has started. It is quick to claim its territory and to aggressively spread to other parts of the body. Cancer doesn’t wait and neither should we.