Tuesday October 03, 2023

How to look for signs of breast cancer

Self-diagnosing breast cancer is important for early detection as well as treatment and involves being aware of the signs of breast cancer in women

By Web Desk
March 10, 2023
Woman holding a pink ribbon as awareness for Breast Cancer Day, October, 1. — Unsplash
Woman holding a pink ribbon as awareness for Breast Cancer Day, October, 1. — Unsplash

Breast cancer is a kind of cancer that occurs when cells in the breast grow abnormally and form a lump or mass. While breast cancer can occur in both men and women, it is more common in women. It is the most common cancer among women globally, and detecting early signs of breast cancer is critical for effective treatment. 

Self-diagnosing breast cancer involves being aware of its signs in women.

Conducting self-exams

Breast self-exams are an important tool for self-diagnosing breast cancer if done rightly. Women should begin conducting self-exams at the age of 20 and be taught do so before that. Women must self-examine at least once a month. 

According to new breast cancer screening guidelines, to conduct a self-exam, lie down and use your fingers to check for lumps or other abnormalities in your breasts. It is important to check both breasts and the surrounding areas, including the armpits. Notice any changes in the size, shape, or appearance of your breasts.

Breast cancer symptoms

It is important to be aware of the following signs of breast cancer in women:

  • A lump or mass in the breast or armpit
  • Pain or tenderness in the breast or nipple
  • Swelling or thickening of the breast tissue
  • Changes in the shape or size of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that is not breast milk
  • Nipple inversion or retraction
  • Redness or pitting of the breast skin

Immediately see a medical professional if you notice any of these symptoms.

Seeking professional help

While self-exams and awareness of signs and symptoms are important tools for self-diagnosing breast cancer, it is mandatory to seek help from a doctor if you notice any abnormalities or changes.

A doctor can perform a clinical examination and may recommend further testing, such as a mammogram or biopsy, to diagnose or rule out the disease. Regular breast cancer screenings, such as mammograms, are crucial for early detection.