A breast cancer patient of mine passed away recently.
She was already stage IV when she came to see me, so there
wasn't a lot I could do. She had developed at least one
breast cancer symptom. She went to the doctor and got tests
done, but the radiologist screwed up her report and said
she was fine - of course, she went back in when it was clear
things weren't going to get better. Accurate diagnosis had
been delayed by six months, which limited her options.
So how do you know if you have a breast cancer symptom? The breast
self-exam is one way to start. However, at least one study
of hundreds of thousands of women found that only benign growths
were more likely to be found in women who did regular self-exams,
so at this point, we can't really advise for or against it. But
medical information changes all the time, so I'd say do it. Better
safe than sorry.
You may also want to check out
about the pink breast cancer
There usually is no
breast cancer symptom for many years. Breast cancer grows
slowly, taking 100 days to double in size, so it can be 8 years
before you can detect it. 60%
of breast masses are detected by you, the patient. Of those
who find them, the younger you are, the more chance there is that
it's a breast cancer symptom - it could be a fibroadenoma. There
is also the clinical breast exam, done by a doctor. But
most breast lumps are benign.
Other symptoms to consider include:
- Breast discharge- this is only worrisome if it's only
from one breast or if it's bloody.
- New nipple inversion (caving in of the nipple)
- Changes in the skin of the breast like redness, puckering,
or texture are usually skin diseases but could be breast cancer.
Of women with breast cancer symptom that turn out really to be
breast cancer, 7% are under 40, and 25% are under 50.
The mammogram is a way to visualize (get a visual image
of) the breast to see what the breast cancer symptom might be.
This test can find breast cancer 1.7 years sooner than the breast
exam can, and can find growths as small as 12 millimeters. However,
it becomes less effective if you have dense breasts, are under
50, or are on HRT. It's recommended more for women between ages
50 and 74. If you get one, make sure it's read by two radiologists,
show helps you get the right diagnosis.
You are more at risk for breast cancer, and thus should be more
conscious of anything that might be a breast cancer symptom, if
you have these criteria:
to read about the Alternative Cancer Therapy Guide: Over 100 Safe,
Proven Alternative Cancer Treatments