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What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease where cells found in the breast grow out of control. Symptoms for this disease can vary greatly—from a lump in the breast to discharge of the nipple. Here are some of the important symptoms of breast cancer and how it is diagnosed.

Lump in the Breast

For some women, finding a lump in the breast or underarm area is the first sign of breast cancer. The lump may be soft or feel like a hard knot. If you notice a new lump be sure to see your doctor right away for an exam to rule out breast cancer. It’s important to realize there are several other causes of lumps in the breast, including cysts and fibrocystic breast condition.

Skin Changes on the Breast

Some people may experience skin changes with the breast area. It can be one of the earliest signs of certain types of breast cancer. The skin may become irritated or itchy. Other skin changes to look for are redness, swelling, dimpling, pitting (orange skin) and flaking. Your health care provider may suggest a mammogram or breast ultrasound in Jacksonville.

Change in the Appearance of the Breast

Changes in the size, shape, and appearance of the breast could be a sign of breast cancer. As cancer progresses, it can cause swelling of the breast and/or underarm area. If you notice any changes in your breast’s appearance, schedule an appointment with your physician to determine the cause.

Discharge from the Nipple

Nipple discharge is any kind of fluid coming from the nipple. You may see a discharge that is clear and watery, yellowish or mucous-like. Nipple discharge may also appear bloody or clear but tinged with blood. You may experience pain with it or no other symptoms. Speak with your doctor right away to rule out breast cancer with a mammogram or breast ultrasound Jacksonville.

Breast Pain

Most breast cancers don’t cause breast pain, but some do. Breast pain can also be due to many other conditions. If you experience breast pain that is not related to your menstrual cycle or another condition like mastitis, see your health care provider to rule out breast cancer.

Diagnosing Breast Cancer

It’s critical to diagnose breast cancer as early as possible. Early detection can make the disease easier to treat and can greatly improve the survival rate. Breast cancer can be diagnosed with the following tests and exams.

Clinical Breast Exam. Your physician will manually and visually check for any lumps and abnormalities on your breasts, underarms and lymph nodes.

Breast Ultrasound. An ultrasound produces images of deep within the breast by utilizing sound waves. Breast ultrasound Jacksonville can be used to determine if a lump is a cyst or a tumor.

Mammogram. This form of breast X-ray is commonly used to screen for breast cancer. If any abnormalities are found, your doctor may schedule further diagnostic testing.

MRI. This type of machine uses magnetic and radio waves to create images of the inside of your breast.

Biopsy. The only conclusive way to diagnose breast cancer is through a biopsy. A needle biopsy is used to collect a sample of cells to be tested for malignancy.

Schedule a Professional Breast Ultrasound in Jacksonville

Speak with your health care provider right away if you’re experiencing any breast abnormalities or possible breast cancer symptoms. To schedule an appointment with Women’s Physicians of Jacksonville, please call (904) 296-2441.