As we continue to learn more about breast cancer, we are discovering methods to detect it earlier, which leads to higher survival rates with the right treatment. While an annual mammogram may be the most accurate method for detecting breast cancer, according to the Center for Disease Control, in-home self checks may help you detect any abnormalities in your breasts, and you can then consult with your doctor.
The CDC lists symptoms and signs of breast cancer as follows:
- New lump in the breast area or armpit
- Thickening or swelling of part of breast
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
- Redness or flaky skin in the area around the breast
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast
- Pain in any area of the breast
While you should check for any abnormalities in your breasts regularly, sometimes there are no symptoms of breast cancer at all. Also, it is important to note that some of these conditions can occur due to other illnesses or causes. Seek the advice of a medical professional if you notice any of these symptoms.