While a majority of adults recognize a lump as one of the more common signs of breast cancer, there are actually a number of breast changes that could indicate early symptoms.
It’s important to know your breasts and routinely complete a self-exam. These symptoms can indicate different types of breast cancer:
Lumps, in general, have been flagged as a health concern whether they appear on the chest or abdomen, or on the neck or leg.
A lump in the breast area is the most obvious sign and makes breast cancer easier to spot, while some of the other symptoms may be less obvious.
However, lumps can be difficult to detect especially in the earlier stages, as the breast is a generally dense tissue.
If the cancer is diagnosed quickly enough, before it spreads to other organs, the survival rate for women with breast cancer exceeds 95%.
According to the American Cancer Society, women between the ages of 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
It is worth noting that experts from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommend that all women be screened for breast cancer every other year, starting at the age of 40.
Women aged 45 - 54 should have a mammogram every year. Screening should continue regularly and consistently throughout the next few years of a woman's life.
Both the USPSTF and the American Cancer Society stress that women should be aware of how their breasts usually look and feel, and should report any changes to their doctor.
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