Uncommon breast cancer symptoms
Recently, a young woman courageously bared it all on social media to make a point about detecting breast cancer. It all started when a dimple appeared on her breast. She went to her primary care physician who sent her to a breast cancer center. After, doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. Like many women, she knew the common signs of breast cancer such as breast lumps. However, she had no idea that we also consider dimples a warning sign. Many are unfamiliar with less common breast cancer symptoms such as dimples and nipple discharge. Here are some other uncommon symptoms to look for:
- Breast puckering
- Nipple discharge
- Swelling, redness or darkening of the breast
- Change in size or shape
- Itchy, scaly or rash on the nipple
- Breast pain after menopause
Puckering consists of an indentation that appears when you raise your arms. It retracts when you put your arms back down. To check for uncommon breast cancer symptoms such as this, stand in front of a mirror. Then, lift your arms above the head and look for any indents that occur. If you find one, this does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. However, make an appointment with your OB/GYN to discuss more. They will determine if it consists with early signs of breast cancer.
If clear discharge or blood comes out of the nipple on its own, then make an appointment with your doctor. Although an unlikely symptom, this can be a sign of breast cancer.
Swelling, redness or darkening of the breast
Also known as inflammatory breast cancer, this uncommon breast cancer symptom develops quickly making the breast swollen and inflamed. Many confuse it with a skin infection causing it to go untreated. If you experience this symptom, contact your provider immediately. Oncologists consider this type of cancer advances due to its rapid development.
Changes in breast size
Changes in breast size can be natural. However, it can also be one of the early signs of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer can cause breasts to swell. Plus, look for different or uneven sizes in the breasts. Although uneven breasts are natural, a different size that rapidly develops should be a warning sign.
Itchy, scaly or rash on the nipple
An itchy nipple can have many causes such as eczema. However, it can also be another sign of uncommon breast cancer symptoms.
Breast pain after menopause
Although very rare, breast pain post-menopause can be one of the early signs of breast cancer. However, only 2-7% of women experience this. If you have breast pain, contact your doctor to discuss more.
If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN right away. Millions of women are surviving breast cancer today thanks to early detection and improvements in testing and treatment. To learn more about early detection and screenings, click here.