Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women, globally. Every year, millions of women are diagnosed with the disease, and while many survive, a lot of the patients receive the diagnosis at a very late stage, making their fight harder and more painful. An early diagnosis, however, can change this scenario.
As per World Health Organisation, in the year 2020, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 685 000 deaths, globally, were recorded due to the disease. As of the end of the said year, there were 7.8 million women alive who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 5 years, making it the world’s most prevalent cancer.
The report further said that while breast cancer is more prevalent in women, between 0.5 to one percent of the cases occur in men. What’s more, a family history of breast cancer could potentially increase a person’s risk of breast cancer.
For SheThePeople, Obstetrician-Gynecologist Dr Tanushree Pandey Padgaonkar sheds light on the early signs of the disease that should not be ignored.
Here are the early signs of breast cancer you should look out for:
If you feel a nodular or lump-like structure on your breasts while examining them then it is not a good sign and you should rush to your doctor immediately.
Suggested Reading: Increased Sun Exposure Is Linked To Lower Risk Of Breast Cancer: Study
Puckered-look of the skin
Dr Tanushree Pandey Padgaonkar says another sign to watch out for is the skin on your breasts is looking puckered or, in medical terms, Peau D’Orange, which typically makes the breast skin look like an orange peel.
Nipples don’t look normal
Having abnormal nipples can be a major sign of breast cancer. If the nipples are looking puckered, inverted or bent and are having discharge coming out, then you should reach out to your healthcare provider.
Lymph nodes around the breast area
It is not necessary that the cancer is developing right in the area of the breasts, it can also be developing around them, in the armpits or collar bones. Dr Padgaonkar says that if a palpable mass is formulating in your armpits, something you’re able to feel or touch, it can be lymph node enlargement. Similarly, an enlarged lymph node around collar bone or clavicle can suggest should also not be ignored.
Keep up with the changes
Dr Tanushree Pandey Padgaonkar advises to keep examining breasts regularly every month for breast cancer. A change in the shape of nipples, or having discharge, or a change in the texture of the skin can be significant signs of breast cancer and one should immediately consult their doctor.
Watch the video here: