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You might already be at risk for breast cancer without knowing it

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Did you know that breast lumps aren't the only symptom of breast cancer? Read more to find out!

According to a new study, 1 in 6 women diagnosed with breast cancer go to their doctors with more than just a lump as their symptom.

They're far more likely to wait before seeing a doctor

The study adds that women that don't have lumps in their breasts are far more likely to wait before seeing a doctor compared to women that have a lump in their breast. This means that they're more likely to be at risk since it might mean that the cancer won't be caught quickly.

The study's leader, Monica Koo, shares that "It’s crucial that women are aware that a lump is not the only symptom of breast cancer. If they are worried about any breast symptoms, the best thing to do is to get it checked by a doctor as soon as possible."

Breast cancer can present itself in many different ways

Karen Kennedy, director of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) in the U.K., adds that "This research shows that, all too often, women are delaying going to their doctor with symptoms of breast cancer."

"This could be because people are simply unaware that breast cancer can present in many different ways, not just through the presence of a lump. With a disease like breast cancer, it’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible so that a treatment plan can be developed and started. Awareness campaigns need to raise awareness of all of the potential symptoms of breast cancer so that people know how to spot the signs and when to go to a doctor."

What are the rarely noticed signs of breast cancer?

Most women know that breast lumps are one of the clear signs of breast cancer. However, there are a lot of other signs that not all women know about.

Here's a list of the other signs and symptoms:

  • Breast lumps. Lumps are most common among the signs of breast cancer. If you feel any lumps in your breast, you should immediately consult your doctor.
  • Swelling. Even without lumps, if you can see that your breasts are swollen, then it could be an early sign of breast cancer.
  • Breast pain or nipple pain. Any irregular pain in the nipples or your breasts in general are a possible sign of breast cancer.
  • Nipples turning inward. If your nipples suddenly retract for no apparent reason, it would be best to get them looked at by a doctor.
  • Redness, thickening or scaliness of the nipples or breast skin. Most abnormal changes to your breast can be a sign of breast cancer. If you feel any changes that you don't think are normal, get to a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Discharge. If you see a discharge from your nipple that's not breastmilk, it can also be a possible sign of breast cancer.
  • Lumps in the armpit. Sometimes, the cancer can spread beyond the breast and to the lymph nodes. If you have a lump under your armpit that you can't explain, it can be a sign of breast cancer.

If you see any of these signs, it's always a good idea to go to your doctor so that they can conduct tests to know if you have breast cancer or not. Early detection can greatly improve the success rate of treatments, so the sooner the cancer can be spotted, the better.

READ: 15 Cancer signs in children that you might be ignoring

Sources: huffingtonpost.com, womenfreetime.com, cancer.org

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