Early Breast Cancer Signs

Identifying Breast Cancer Symptoms:

“A Part of the Puzzle Too Often Missed”

In our day-to-day interactions with our customers, we often come across interesting, useful, even life-saving information. When we do, we like to pass that on to you.

Advanced Bio Treatment recently did a medical waste disposal and cleanup assignment at an oncology clinic where dozens of folks undergo intravenous chemotherapy every day. A patient at the clinic, who was receiving PVI (protracted venous infusion), suddenly became violently ill and bent over to vomit. Before the staff could help her, however, she fell over and hit the floor, sending the IV pole crashing to the floor with her and rupturing the drip bag full of the chemotherapy drugs. The force of the fall yanked out the infusion line in her arm, and she began bleeding profusely from her vein. The clinic floor was quickly covered in vomit, blood, and a flood of lethal chemotherapy drugs. These particular chemo drugs are very harmful if they make contact with the skin. Due to the size and severity of the contamination, the clinic decided to call Advanced Bio Treatment for a medical waste removal and disposal job. In an emergency, the medical facility needed to have the area professionally decontaminated, cleaned, and sanitized ASAP.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

ABT learned a little bit about breast cancer symptoms that day, and since October is breast cancer awareness month, we decided to pass on this important information. You get your yearly mammography screening, right? You don’t think about breast cancer for the next 12 months, however mammograms don’t detect all breast cancers. In fact, mammograms miss about 10% of tumors. Mammograms also are less reliable in young women and in women with dense breast tissue.

What about self-examination? You should certainly examine your breasts regularly, but experts say that by the time most people can feel a breast lump, it’s larger than a dime. Additionally, about 30% of breast cancers are not lumps at all and are therefore not palpable. Both regular mammograms and regular self-exams are critical. However, neither of these preventative measures by itself is sufficient. So it’s important – critical, one nurse told us – to also recognize and respond to common early signs of breast cancer in women.

The five-year survival rate when breast cancer is detected early and has not spread beyond the breast is 100%

-according to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Once cancer spreads beyond the breast, which is stage-IV cancer, the survival rate is less than four years. That’s why it’s so important to detect breast cancer as soon as possible. One way to do that is to recognize early breast cancer symptoms.

Her mammogram was clear three months before she was diagnosed with stage-IV breast cancer

-said the caretaker of the lady who fainted and who was with her when the accident happened.

Breast Cancer Symptoms and Warning Signs

So she ignored the early breast cancer symptoms and warning signs that should have sent red flags flying all over the place. She figured it was nothing since her mammo was good, she was busy with her job and her son’s upcoming graduation, she figured since no one in her family had ever had breast cancer, she was not a candidate for it, either. She’s 51 years old and fighting for her life now. But who am I to judge. You never want to think it’s the worst, so you rationalize it away. That’s what she did till she felt a lump the size of a golf ball and it had spread in a really big way.

Early Symptoms of Breast Cancer in Women

Breast Cancer warning signs vary for different women, but the most common early symptoms of breast cancer in women involve changes in the way your breast or nipple looks or feels:

  • Lump or hard knot in the breast or underarm area.
    • Don’t assume that a lump is benign because you have had a benign lump in the past.
    • Breasts are often naturally lumpy. You should be concerned when
      • A lump feels harder or different from the rest of the breast or from the other breast.
        • A lump changes.
        • A lump is painless.
        • A lump has irregular edges.

Be aware, however that some cancerous lumps don’t meet this criteria; some lumps are soft, painful, rounded.

  • Underarm lumps are often sore, tender areas and you don’t necessarily feel a lump.
  • Thickening of the breast or underarm area.
  • Itchy breasts, similar to a poison-ivy or poison-oak itch, a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer, a fast-growing cancer.
  • Darkening, redness, unusual warmth, or swelling of the breast, symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer, a fast-growing cancer.
  • Change in the shape or size of the breast.
  • Dimples or puckers of the breast skin.
  • Decrease in nipple sensitivity.
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
  • Nipple retraction (the pulling in of the nipple or any part of the breast).
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk. Not all discharges mean cancer. Some signal only an infection; others occur simply as a natural reaction to the nipple’s being squeezed. Be concerned when the discharge:
    • Occurs without your squeezing the breast.
    • Occurs only in one breast.
    • Is bloody.
    • Is clear.
    • Is milky when you’re not breast feeding.
  • Pain in one spot of the breast that doesn’t go away.
  • Upper back, shoulder, and neck pain, similar to sore muscles or a pulled tendon.

Identifying Breast Cancer Symptoms

These changes do not necessarily mean cancer; in fact, most times they are not cancerous, but rather a benign condition. There is only one way to be sure, however: see a doctor. Nothing can fully prevent breast cancer. However, knowing the early symptoms of breast cancer, getting  mammograms regularly, performing regular self-exams, and recognizing the common early breast cancer signs can all work together to significantly increase your chances of detecting it early enough so that your survival rate is 100%. That’s what Advanced Bio Treatment wants for you and your loved ones.

We are Advanced Bio Treatment, here for you 24 hours every day of the year, and we take emergency calls and work with your insurance company. Should you need our services, please call us at 800-295-1684.

Posted in Community
Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment