Majority of the women have this question in their minds – Can a Lump in the Breast Be a Warning Sign of Breast Cancer?
A very straight forward answer to this question is no. A lump in the breast does not always mean breast cancer. But you have to look out for other signs as well if you notice a lump in your breast.
What you should do if you have the above signs and symptoms and a lump in your breast?
If you have a lump in your breast associated with changes in breast size & shape, redness, pain, swelling or darkening of breast, nipple retraction and discharge other than milk, then consult a gynaeconcologist for a clinical breast examination and diagnosis.
What are the early warning signs of breast cancer?
Does breast cancer always come with warning signs?
Breast cancer doesn’t always come with warning signs. In many cases it goes on growing silently without causing any warning signs and symptoms. Majority of women don’t experience any signs and symptoms of breast cancer in the initial stages. Furthermore, breast cancer incidences are rising in women as young as 25 years age. Silent spread of breast cancer is resulting in late detection – mostly in the third and fourth stages. This trend is rampant in India. Late diagnosis is leading to ineffective treatment and poor survival rates.
Then, how to catch breast cancer even if it doesn’t show any warning signs?
In absence of warning signs and symptoms, many women tend to ignore their breasts. The reason for this is the fact that they don’t know how to do breast-self-examination. When they don’t do breast self-examination, they remain unaware of the potential changes happening their breasts. Thus, they miss noticing breast cancer in the early stage.
Therefore, women must consult their gynaeconcologist and learn how to do breast self-examination. If they find something abnormal then they should go for clinical breast examination (examination by a gynaeconcologist) followed by breast cancer screening. Being a woman, if you follow this protocol, you would be in a position to catch breast cancer in the early stage itself – wherein effective treatment is possible.
What is breast cancer screening?
Breast cancer screening begins once you become aware of breast cancer. In the above paragraphs you have learned how to do breast self-examination. If you notice any abnormality, then immediately consult your gynaeconcologist or a lady breast cancer specialist. Once she detects any abnormality, she will order a mammogram and other breast cancer screening tests including MRI if needed. For women with strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer, breast cancer screening begins early and may involve MRI and genetic testing.
Breast cancers have highest cure rates if diagnosed in the early stages. Simple tests like mammogram done at appropriate times can detect breast cancers early for potential cure. Breast cancers known to occur in close family members, develop at an early age and tend to be aggressive. These cancers can be predicted and prevented with high degree of accuracy based on genetic screening.
Breast cancer screening is important because many women do not experience symptoms in the early stages of breast cancer.