Watching Out For Breast Cancer Symptoms

As we all know, breast cancer treatments will help if it is caught in time. There are all kinds of pamphlets, videos, and computer information about how to do a breast exam and all humans, inclusive of males, need to check their breast tissue often as a means of watching out for breast cancer symptoms.

Of course the problem exists that not all breast cancer is going to jump up and down and proclaim “Here I am!” thus it is often hidden. You see, not all breast cancer has symptoms of cancer, and even if you have a very tiny lump that is cancer, it may be very difficult for the average person to locate it in their breast, no matter how diligent they may be. At times a doctor has been able to identify breast cancer before a patient is aware of it, but even that is rare. Also the type has to be identified before breast cancer treatments can begin.

Thus, most breast cancer is found by going through that “torture” most women refer to as having a mammogram. It is important to point out that it is actually an x-ray of the breast, so that when this x-ray is taken, great care is taken to be able to include the entire breast area, and that’s why so many call it torture. Having one’s breast tissue squeezed between two pieces of hard plastic is not anyone’s idea of fun, but it is the results that are so important if there’s cancer there that needs cancer treatments.

Because it is an x-ray, it can actually look deeply into the breast. To those who read x-rays, problems such as cancer can be crystal clear, and at other times the person interpreting the x-ray may make an error, and actually miss a tiny dot on the x-ray that denotes problems.

Sometimes the patient has seen something that just might indicate cancer. Not everyone is going to have the same cancer symptoms, so do not take the symptoms to be purely black and white. For example a lump that is hard or soft, has uneven edges or is perfectly round, painless or tender: all of those indications should pique your interest enough to have a doctor look over it. As you can see, the list of symptoms is seriously variable, and that’s partly because breast cancer is so sneaky.

Granted you should seek medical help if you note swelling on your breast, whether it’s only partial or all of it and also seek help if you note unexplained skin irritation or even a dimpling of your breast tissue. Having any pain in your breast or even pain that is coming from the nipple area is an indicator that you should have it looked at. Some patients noticed that their nipple turned inward or some have some sort of nipple discharge when they are not lactating. Fortunately many seek medical help if they find a lump in their armpit area.

Now none of those symptoms are a reason to think that you definitely have breast cancer, and often instead it turns out to be a minor infection or sometimes a cyst. A cyst is literally a pocket that may or may not have liquid in it, but if it contains pus then it’s actually an abscess. Occasionally a cyst is caused by some form of cancer tumor, thus even if you just think you have a cyst, have it looked at so that the treatment of cancer can begin immediately.

There are a number of ways that a doctor ascertains a diagnosis of breast cancer prior to cancer treatment. For instance there is ultrasound, which is actually a reflection of sound, so it can “look into” enclosed areas such as breast tissue. Then there is an MRI, short for magnetic resonance imaging, which has to do with how your body reflects radio waves. It gives doctors a different view of the same areas that were looked at with the x-ray or the ultrasound. Or your doctor may order a CAT scan. In that case, it generates a 3-D image of your breast.

Once a doctor knows what’s inside the breast tissue, they can make a decision as to what breast cancer treatment will be best. If you wish to know more about breast cancer treatment, you can go to http://cancertreatmenttoday.org where you can also find information about the best in cancer treatments.

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