Red Spots, Itchy Breasts, and Other Subtle Signs of Breast Cancer

The public remains largely unaware of several breast cancer symptoms

Signs of Breast Cancer
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Many breast cancer awareness campaigns have advised women to examine their breast for lumps. As a result, the public seems to be very familiar with this particular symptom of breast cancer. And this is a good thing, as it encourages women to perform regular self-exams of their breasts, such as in the shower when they're already naked, to check for lumps.  

But it's important to realize that lumps aren't the only signs of breast cancer.

For instance, red spots on a breast and itchy breasts can be symptoms of breast cancer, too. Learn to spot other possible signs of breast cancer with this roundup of subtle symptoms. If you're experiencing any of the​ breast cancer symptoms below for an unexplained reason, don't hesitate to consult your doctor for an evaluation.

Subtle Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Beyond looking for lumps, be aware of these more subtle symptoms of breast cancer.

  • Breasts That Are Warm to the Touch: A breast that always feels warm or sometimes even hot to the touch can be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer, a dangerous and rare type of the disease.
  • Flat or Inverted Nipples: A nipple that is flat or inverted can be a sign of breast cancer. This does not include having an inverted nipple since birth.
  • A Breast That Is Often Itchy: If you have itchy breasts or nipples, talk to your doctor. These are both sometimes symptoms of breast cancer.
  • Dimpled Breasts: Breasts and their surrounding skin can take on a dimpled appearance, resembling an orange peel. This can sometimes be a symptom of breast cancer. Many women are too embarrassed to show a doctor breasts in this condition because they mistakenly believe that they're suffering from cellulite or are simply too overweight. But always talk to your doctor about any unusual symptoms.
  • Swollen Enlarged Breasts: It's normal for a woman's breasts to become temporarily swollen and tender during fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, during a period of weight gain, during puberty, and during pregnancy. But if you feel like your breasts are constantly sore, or if they've become larger in size for no particular reason, a doctor should evaluate them. 
  • Breasts With Red Spots or Blotches: If you see red spots on your breasts or blotches, or if it looks like there is a rash on your breasts, you should be evaluated by a doctor. This may be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is a type of cancer that often goes undetected by mammograms.

What to Do

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms that are listed above, don't fret. While the signs above may indicate breast cancer, they may also have other causes. Itchy breasts, for example, may be caused by an allergic reaction or fungal infection. Red, blotchy breasts may also be a sign of allergies.

However, if you're alarmed because you have one of the symptoms that are listed above, schedule an appointment with your doctor for an in-person evaluation. And congratulate yourself on your vigilance, as early detection is the best way to beat breast cancer.

 

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