Keep an eye out for these 5 early indicators of breast cancer

Early detection is crucial in reducing the incidence rates of breast cancer, the most prevalent type of cancer among women in India.

5 Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer You Should Look Out For
5 Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer You Should Look Out For

Breast cancer stands as one of the most prevalent cancers among women in India, constituting approximately 14% of all female cancer cases, as per Globocan 2020 data. Early detection remains paramount for effective treatment and overcoming this disease entirely. Studies indicate that one in twenty-nine Indian women may face breast cancer. Detecting it early poses challenges due to varying symptoms among individuals. Here are five crucial warning signs to watch for regarding breast cancer.

1. Enlarged lymph nodes in the armpits or near the collarbones

Lymph nodes constitute an integral part of the lymphatic system, comprising small structures interconnected throughout the body via lymphatic vessels. They serve as filters for harmful substances and harbor immune cells essential for combating infections and eliminating germs.

Observing swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, underarms, or around the collarbones could signify a potential warning sign of breast cancer. Such swelling may occur unilaterally or bilaterally. To check for swelling, one can visually inspect and palpate these areas.

2. Breasts experiencing either partial or full swelling

Breasts experiencing either partial or full swelling

Experiencing breast soreness during menstruation is typical. Hormonal shifts or medications, such as birth control, can also cause breast tenderness. However, prolonged and generalized swelling across your breasts could indicate breast cancer. Be vigilant for any partial swelling in specific areas of your breasts as well.

3. Skin irritation or the appearance of dimples

Although breast soreness from menstruation, hormonal shifts, or birth control is common, it’s important to be aware of skin irritation or a burning sensation in your breasts. Blocked lymph vessels can disrupt blood flow, leading to dimpling, skin irritation, and a burning sensation in the breasts.

4. Discomfort or tenderness in the breasts and nipples

In addition to skin irritation or a burning sensation, experiencing pain in the breasts or around the nipple area warrants immediate medical attention. Swollen lymph nodes and blocked lymph vessels can impair the function of the lymphatic system around the breast, leading to breast and nipple pain.

5. Nipple retraction

If you observe the skin of your nipples retracting inward or around them, reaching out to your doctor is crucial. Nipple retraction is a significant indicator of breast cancer.

While a retracted nipple is commonly referred to as an inverted nipple, if it accompanies other symptoms mentioned earlier, it may signal breast cancer.

Detecting breast cancer in women, particularly in its early stages, can be challenging as these signs are often missed. Therefore, it’s essential to conduct regular self-examinations to identify these signs.