Breast Cancer Signs, Symptoms and Facts

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. They can even be painful. For this reason, it is important to have any new breast mass or lump or breast change checked by a health care provider experienced in diagnosing breast diseases.

Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:

~Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
~Skin irritation or dimpling
~Breast or nipple pain
~Nipple retraction (turning inward)
~Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
~Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)

Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt. Swollen lymph nodes should also be checked by a health care provider.

Although any of these symptoms can be caused by things other than breast cancer, if you have them, they should be reported to a health care provider so that he or she can find the cause.

Because mammograms do not find every breast cancer, it is important for you to be aware of changes in your breasts and to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

11 Facts About Breast Cancer

  1. In the US, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
  2. The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are being female and aging. About 95% of all breast cancers in the US occur in women 40 and older.
  3. Getting a mammogram can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer by 30 to 40% among women ages 40 to 70.
  4. Breast cancer deaths have been declining since 1990 thanks to early detection, better screening, increased awareness, and new treatment options.
  5. Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
  6. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
  7. In the US today, there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors — the largest group of all cancer survivors.
  8. One woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the US.
  9. Every 19 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer.
  10. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
  11. About 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2013.

 

Updated: 2/24/2017