Breast cancer is one of the most common life-threatening disease that affects 1 in 8 American women. Every woman should do regular screenings and mammograms to detect abnormal cells in early stages to increase the chance of survival. Everything can be treated if it’s found in an early stage.
Statistics show that more than 40.000 women and 460 men in the U.S. has died from breast cancer in 2013. Yes, even men are not safe and can get breast cancer! Breast cancer is the primary cause of death in Hispanic women and the second most common cause of death among Asian and Caucasian women.
There are early signs of breast cancer that indicate that something is wrong and every woman should know them! Early detection is key to recovery and surviving this devastating disease! If you come from a family that has history with breast cancer, make sure you make regular tests!
Here are 5 early signs of breast cancer that every woman should know:
1. A new mole
Moles are usually linked to skin cancer, but that’s not always the case. One study conducted on 6000 women, showed that women who have more moles had a 13% higher risk of getting breast cancer. Another study showed that women with 15 or more moles, have 35% higher risk of getting breast cancer. If you notice a new mole on your body or if your mole starts to bleed, itch or change its color and shape, see professional help.
2. Persistent cough
Sore throat, dry cough and shortness of breath can be an indicator that the cancer cells have spread to the lungs. This is known as a secondary breast cancer and it happens in 65-70% of women who become terminally ill. Unfortunately, most people overlook these symptoms because they’re similar to the common cold and flu.
3. Digestive problems
Some of the main symptoms of breast cancer include constipation, abdominal bloating, bladder incontinence and tenderness. Breast cancer causes hormonal changes that affect the organ function and digestion. Cancer really messes up the hormones and can upset the digestive system. Loss of appetite, unexpected weight loss, swelling, abdominal or pelvic pain can all indicate that something is happening in your body.
4. Back pain
Eight out of 10 people experience back pain at some point in their life. Bad posture, prolonged sitting, arthritis and injuries increase the risk of back pain. On the other hand, back pain can also be an indication of breast cancer cells spreading to the spine. Back pain related to breast cancer comes from the bone and it puts pressure on the ribs and spine. The horrible pain can weaken the bones, leading to fractures. The pain is often accompanied by tiredness, constipation, thirst, confusion, irritability and nausea.
It’s the most common sign of cancer. Sometimes fatigue can be also an indication of hormonal imbalance and thyroid disorders. When the fatigue is caused by cancer, it won’t go away when you get plenty of rest. It’s often accompanied by poor sleep, depression and constant pain. Studies show that 9 out of 10 breast cancer patients experience fatigue.
Other Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of
We’ll say it one more time: early detection is the key to surviving! The sooner you get diagnosed, the sooner you can start with treatment! Some of the most overlooked signs of breast cancer include: heartburn, upset stomach, menstrual changes, lymph nodes in the armpit, nipple discharge, hard knots, lumps and swelling! In the early stages, breast cancer can cause loss of balance, headaches, difficulty urinating, numbness and constant nausea. If you notice these symptoms and they don’t go away within 2 weeks, see medical help.