If you’ve noticed a change in your breast, you may be wondering, “could this be a breast cancer symptom?” If you or your doctor noticed an area of concern during a breast exam, it’s normal to feel anxious. However, many of the signs and symptoms of completely benign conditions can mimic the symptoms of breast cancer. So most of those areas of concern will turn out to be something other than cancer, but it’s always best to speak with your doctor to be sure.
If you notice any of the following potential breast cancer symptoms, make an appointment to talk with your doctor.
Lump in the breast – this is what most women look for during a self-exam. A lump in the breast can be a breast cancer symptom, but it can also indicate a cyst, infection or other benign conditions.
Nipple changes – unusual discharge of any color, or a difference in shape of one nipple, changes to the area around the nipples including scaly, red or swollen skin.
Changes to breast shape – any change in the size or shape of the breast including dimpling, unexplained swelling or shrinkage or recent asymmetry. Most women have one breast larger than the other, which is completely normal however, if it comes on suddenly, that’s when to mention it to your doctor.
Pain – unexplained pain in the breast or in the area around the breast including under the arms, on the chest and just below the breasts.
Breast cancer can only be diagnosed by a qualified medical professional. If you experience any breast changes or breast cancer symptoms, talk with your doctor, who may recommend additional exams including a mammogram.
If your doctor recommends an annual mammogram, be sure to get one every year. Mammograms save lives! While some women will notice breast cancer symptoms like breast and nipple changes, most women won’t have any symptoms at all until something shows up on their annual mammogram. The Breast Center of Maple Grove makes it easy to get your mammogram. Make an appointment or drop in Monday-Friday 7:30am-5:00pm, or take advantage of our extended hours on Tuesdays from 7:00am-8:00pm.