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Not all breast cancer signs are a reason to panic - here's why…

by , 11 December 2014

Because breast cancer is one of the most feared diseases amongst women, it's easy to panic at the slightest symptom, especially if you have a family history of the disease.

But it's not always something to worry about.

Here's a guide to help you understand when you should seek medical advice immediately about your symptoms and when there's no reason for alarm…

Five breast cancer symptoms you might not need to panic about

Knowing which signs are important to check out as soon as possible will help you reduce any anxiety you have linked to breast cancer and stop you from always jumping to conclusions.

Below are the signs that should give you real reason for concern and which you can just monitor but don’t call for panic:

  1. A lump in your breast: Most breast lumps are benign cysts, so don’t panic. If you’re pre-menopausal, wait until your menstrual cycle ends that month to see if the lump is hormone-related. If the lump is still there after your menstrual cycle, check it out. If you’re post-menopausal, check out the lump as soon as you find it.

  2. A lump in your armpit: Most armpit lumps are caused by swollen lymph nodes. But because your armpit is so close to the breast, treat the same way you would treat a lump in the breast as I’ve explained in point one above.

  3. A rash on your breast: In many cases, a rash may just be a skin problem, but in some cases it could indicate inflammatory breast cancer which requires immediate medical attention. Before you panic, consider if you have changed your soap, shower gel, body cream or clothes detergent.

  4. Breast itchiness: If your breast is itchy on the skin, it’s most likely related to a skin problem. If your breast is itchy inside, it could be hormone- or nerve-related during the menstrual cycle. If the itching persists, check it out to rule out inflammatory breast cancer or mastitis.

  5. Nipple discharge: Hormonal changes can cause a milky, light green or light yellow nipple discharge when you squeeze your nipples. But if the discharge is only in one breast and happens without squeezing the nipple and the discharge is clear and sticky or brown-red in colour, check it out with your doctor.

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Know which breast cancer signs to worry about

This article will help you determine which breast cancer symptoms you should get checked out. Remember, living in constant fear and anxiety isn’t healthy either so make an informed decision about when to get a breast cancer symptom checked out as a precautionary based on this information and when not to worry about it. Breast cancer is highly treatable if caught early, so if you follow the points above, you should have no reason to panic.

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