The initial symptoms of breast cancer are related to changes in the breast, mainly the appearance of a small, painless lump. However, it is also important to know that many of the lumps that appear in the breast are benign and, therefore, do not represent a cancer situation.
If you suspect you may have breast cancer, select your symptoms and see what your risk is:
- Presence of a lump or lump that does not hurt
- Change in color or shape of the nipple
- Release of fluid from the nipple
- Changes in breast skin, such as redness or harder skinny
- Swelling or change in the size of one breast
- Frequent itching in the breast or nipple
- Alteration in the color or shape of the areola
- Formation of crusts or wounds on the skin near the nipple
- Veins that are easily observable and increase in sizeism
- Presence of a groove in the breast, as if it were a sinkingNoSim
- Lumps or swelling in the armpit waterways
The best way to identify these changes is to look for a mastologist and do regular breast self-examination, as it helps women and men to better understand the anatomy of their breast over time, allowing them to identify small changes as soon as they appear.
These symptoms may appear simultaneously or alone, and may be symptoms of early or advanced breast cancer. In addition, the presence of any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean the existence of breast cancer, but, you should consult the mastologist, as it may be a benign nodule or an inflammation of the breast tissue, which needs treatment. See which tests confirm breast cancer .
Who can get breast cancer
Anyone can develop breast cancer, whether male or female, with people with:
- Age over 50 years;
- Family history of breast cancer;
- Obesity and sedentary lifestyle;
In addition, there are also genetic changes that can increase the tendency to develop this type of cancer, such as those that occur in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. However, there are tests that can be done and that help to identify the change even before the cancer appears, giving the opportunity to prevent cancer.
See how this type of genetic testing is done and how it can help prevent breast cancer .
Symptoms of breast cancer in men
The symptoms of male breast cancer are similar to the symptoms of breast cancer in women, so when there is some kind of change in the breast, it is important to consult a hematologist to diagnose the problem and initiate appropriate treatment.
Learn about male breast cancer .
Main types of breast cancer
There are several different types of breast cancer, depending on its development, some of which are more aggressive than others. The main ones are:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) : it is a type of breast cancer in the initial phase that develops in the ducts and, therefore, has high chances of cure;
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (CLIS) : it is the second most common type in women and is also in its early stages, but it is located in the milk-producing glands. This type is less aggressive and easy to treat;
- Invasive ductal carcinoma (ICD) : it is the most common type of breast cancer and means that it is at a more advanced stage when the cancer started in the milk-producing gland, but has spread outwards, which can create metastases;
- Invasive lobular carcinoma (CLI) : it is more rare and often more difficult to identify. This type of cancer can also be related to the appearance of ovarian cancer;
- Inflammatory carcinoma of the breast : it is an aggressive cancer, but very rare.
In addition to these types of breast cancer, there are also others that are even rarer, such as medullary carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma, tubular carcinoma or malignant filoid tumor.
How to identify advanced breast cancer
Symptoms of advanced malignant breast cancer include, in addition to worsening symptoms and lesions in the breast, other signs not related to the breasts, such as nausea, bone pain, loss of appetite, severe headaches and muscle weakness.
These symptoms are usually caused because advanced cancer causes metastases from malignant cells to other organs in the body, such as the lungs and brain, so they should be investigated by the mastologist and the clinical oncologist as soon as possible. Learn about other causes of breast discomfort or pain .
How to prevent breast cancer
The prevention of breast cancer is done by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, it is advised to have a healthy diet, with fruits and vegetables, the practice of regular physical exercises, avoid excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and eliminate cigarettes.
However, to effectively prevent this cancer, it is necessary to perform mammography on a regular basis. Ideally, mammography should be performed annually, from the age of 40, according to the Brazilian Society of Mastology and the American Society of Radiology. The Ministry of Health in Brazil, as well as several medical societies of European mastology, advise mammography from the age of 50, twice a year. Women with risk factors for breast cancer, such as first-degree relatives with breast or ovarian cancer under the age of 50, should be screened 10 years before the first case in the family.
In addition, it is also important to perform the monthly breast self-examination, 3 to 5 days after the end of menstruation. The importance of self-examination is always remembered in the government’s annual campaigns, known as Pink October. Understand the step-by-step how to do the breast self-examination correctly.
Learn more about breast cancer