Symptoms of Breast Cancer
In early stages of breast cancer, there is usually no pain and there may be no symptoms at all. As the cancer grows, the following symptoms could appear:
Consult a doctor if you notice any of the above changes.
There are other breast conditions that might mimic the symptoms of breast cancer and so require further tests to diagnose. These include:
- Cysts (fluid-filled sacs more common in women aged 35 – 50)
- Fibroadenomas (benign tumours made of glandular and fibrous tissue, common in younger women)
- Hyperplasia (a proliferation of cells in the lobes or ducts)
- Calcifications (bits of calcium in the breast)
- Papillomas (small growths that arise from the lining of the breast ducts and are often not more than 0.5-1.0cm in size)
- Phyllus tumors (tumors which tend to grow rapidly to a large size, sometimes up to 8-10cm in size)
- Infections of the breast (lumps due to an infection are usually very painful and there will be skin changes such as redness and swelling over the lump)
Of these, hyperplasia is believed to increase risk for breast cancer while clusters of tiny calcifications (microcalcifications) can be indications of pre-cancer or cancer.
Breast cancer occurs when breast cells divide and grow without control, sometimes invading surrounding tissue.Breast cancer can be classified generally as follows:
- Non-Invasive Breast Cancer
- Invasive Cancer
- Metastatic Breast Cancer
Everyone's treatment is different. To help doctors decide on the best treatment, the stage of the cancer needs to be determined.
- Radiation Therapy or Radiotherapy
- Hormonal Therapy