Breast Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in women. In Pakistan, the situation is no different. The country has one of the highest cases of Breast Cancer and over 40,000 women die of it every year. While there are numerous hospitals now offering treatment for cancer, the number of women diagnosed with the disease keeps increasing. Hospitals are sadly brimming with cancer patients more than ever before and the disease is not even sparing younger people.
In most cases, breast cancer is not detected until it is too late. That is because this disease does not show any signs or symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms only become clear when a lump can be felt near the breast or if the disease has spread to other organs.
However, before reading the symptoms we’ll discuss here, please keep in mind that any of these symptoms could be linked to another disease. So it would be best to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a hard lump on or near the breast. It would typically feel slightly different from the rest of the breast. The lump is not painful. Sometimes a lump may not form at all but the disease manifests itself in such a way that it feels the breast tissue is getting harder.
Some other symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Changes in the shape or size of the breast
- Dimpling on the nipple (like the skin of an orange)
- The nipple that suddenly starts to point inward
- Nipple discharge that includes blood
- A lump in the armpit
As Breast Cancer spreads to other parts of the body, following symptoms may start to surface:
- Bone pain & muscle weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Headache & double vision
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
We’d like to reiterate once again that any of these symptoms could be for another disease. Furthermore, family history plays a significant role in determining your risk of getting breast cancer.