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Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breast, either in the milk-producing  ducts or in the lobules, which are sacs of tissue where breast milk is produced and stored.  Breast cancer sometimes forms in the breast cells themselves, which is why men can also get breast cancer, though it is far more common in women. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of breast cancer below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer are as follows:

  • Firm breast lumps that don’t move when touched
  • Firm breast lumps with poorly defined edges
  • Firm breast lumps that don’t change during your cycle
  • Breast skin irritation
  • Scaly skin patches around the nipples
  • Nipple retraction
  • Dimpling in the breast tissue
  • Changes in breast texture or color
  • Thickening that feels different than the surrounding area
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Redness or pitting over the skin of the breast
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes in the armpit
  • Chronic swollen sores around the mouth, jaw or gums
  • Severe unexplained morning nausea
  • Hypothyroidism

Breast cancer is the second-most common type of cancer diagnosed in women in the U.S.  Thanks to better diagnostic practices and new treatments, deaths from breast cancer have been declining.

Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

A diagnosis of breast cancer is made through specific tests and procedures.  These include mammograms, which are x-rays of the breasts.  There are two types of mammograms – basic screening mammograms which are the mammograms done on a regular basis, and diagnostic mammograms, which are done to evaluate abnormalities.  Other tests used in the diagnosis of breast cancer include ultrasounds, which are used to determine if an abnormality is caused by a fluid-filled cyst or by a tumor.  A breast MRI with contrast dye is also used to create pictures of the interior of your breast.  If a suspicious lump is found, a biopsy is done to determine whether the cells are cancerous or not.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Just Get Me Through This!: A Practical Guide to Coping with Breast Cancer
Deborah A. Cohen
Breast Cancer Survival Manual, Fourth Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide for the Woman With Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer
John Link

The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan: A Doctor-Approved Workout Plan For a Strong Body and Lifesaving Results (Harvard Medical School Guides)
Carolyn Kaelin
Choices in Breast Cancer Treatment: Medical Specialists and Cancer Survivors Tell You What You Need to Know (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
Kenneth D. Miller

Breast Cancer Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Breast Cancer . org

Information from a Nonprofit Organization … Breast Cancer in the News. Breaking news about current breast cancer research. Get an insider’s look at, read the stories of some amazing people, and get helpful healthy living tips.

  • National Cancer Institute

Information about breast cancer treatment, prevention, genetics, causes, screening, clinical trials, research and statistics from the National Cancer Institute.

  • About .com

Welcome to breast cancer information! Here is information for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, family members or supportive friends.

  • American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society’s detailed guide on Breast Cancer provides information and resources on the causes, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and research.

  • Breast Cancer . org Discussion Boards

Breast Cancer Discussion Forums – Access the shared knowledge of thousands of people affected by breast cancer.

  • Med Help

Breast Cancer Help Forum. This forum is for help, questions and support regarding Breast Cancer. Questions posted in the Breast Cancer forum are answered by medical professionals from the Cleveland Clinic.

Medical Resources

  • Web MD

The five year survival rate of breast cancer is over 90% when caught early. Get in-depth breast cancer information here including symptoms.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.