As mammograms become more common, thankfully more breast cancers are caught at early stages - before common warning signs even occur. However, not all cancers are found with mammograms so it is important that all women know common warning signs. If you experience these symptoms, you should make an an appointment with your primary care physician. Need a doctor? Logansport Memorial's Breast Center diagnoses and treats women throughout North Central Indiana.
5 common warning signs of breast cancer
It is important to note that warning signs are not the same for all women. The most common change to take note of is any change in the look or feel of the breast or nipple. These signs alone do not mean you have cancer, but the only way to be sure is to see your doctor.
- Lump, hard knot or thickening inside the breast or underarm
- Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening of the breast
- Change in size or shape of the breast
- Dimpling or puckering of the skin on your breast
- Nipple discharge
Breast Self Exam
A breast self-exam (BSE) is a step-by-step examination of your breast that you do yourself. It is one tool that can be used to help detect the warning signs noted above. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that all women aged 20 years and older talk to their doctor about the benefits,harms, and limitations of breast self-exams. Even if you never do a step-by-step self exam, you should still be familiar with your body and report any changes to your doctor. Learn more.
Screening mammograms are done before any symptoms appear and are one of the strongest tools available to detect early breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that women aged 45 and older have a mammogram every year. Your doctor may recommend you have a mammogram earlier based on your health history.