Can Breast Cancer be Found Early?

The question many women have on their mind, and you may as well: “Can breast cancer be found early?”

The answer is, absolutely YES! But women must take an active part in knowing and monitoring their breasts. Finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art treatment are two of the most important steps for preventing breast cancer deaths.

Let’s dive together with Dr. Schwartz, Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, and The American Cancer Society into the basic signs and symptoms every woman should be able to notice herself and bring up to her doctor.

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Knowing how your breasts normally look and feel is an important part of your breast health. Although having regular screening tests for breast cancer is important, mammograms do not find every breast cancer. This means it’s also important for you to know what your breasts normally look and feel like, so you’ll be aware of any changes in your breasts.

*We all know we should be doing self-breast exams every month, but are you doing them correctly? Review this guided self-breast exam video and refresh your skills to ensure the best detection.

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass (although most breast lumps are not cancer). A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers can be also soft, round, tender, or even painful.

Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no lump is felt)
  • Skin dimpling (sometimes looking like an orange peel)
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Nipple retraction (turning inward)
  • Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, flaking, or thickened
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm or near the collar bone (Sometimes this can be a sign of breast cancer spread even before the original tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt.)

Many of these symptoms can also be caused by benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions. Still, it’s important to have any new breast mass, lump, or other change checked by an experienced health care professional so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Remember that knowing what to look for does not take the place of having regular screening for breast cancer. Screening mammography can often help find breast cancer early, before any symptoms appear. Finding breast cancer early gives you a better chance of successful treatment.

Do you have any questions, or have you detected anything of concern? Schedule an appointment with breast specialist, Dr. Schwartz.

Dr. Schwartz is an oncoplastic breast surgeon, who can, together with his team, take care of any and all of your breast needs – from detection to biopsy to any mass removal and immediate reconstruction to breast lift and reduction. As a cancer survivor himself, Dr. Schwartz understands the stresses and worries his patients face and he truly sympathizes with them. So don’t delay, any change in your breasts deserves a thorough check-up.  Schedule your appointment today, you could be seen as early as today! 470-322-6757

Meet Dr. Schwartz before your visit and see what his past patients have to say about their experience.

Credits to The American Cancer Society

*Input by Dr. Schwartz