Portrait of a smiling female doctor

It doesn’t have to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to talk about breast cancer! Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers found in women, specifically in America. According to the National Cancer Institute, each year there are about “230,000 new cases in women.” 230,000 women! “Based on current incident rates, 12.4 percent of women born in The United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives.” Breast cancer is very common, and if gone untreated it could potentially be deadly. Every cancer is different, which means symptoms aren’t always the same for each individual. One of the most talked about signs of breast cancer is finding a lump on your breast, but lumps aren’t the only way this cancer can be detected. Make yourself aware of every possible symptom of breast cancer, because the sooner it’s detected, the better the outcome.

Weight Change. It’s easy to dismiss weight change. Maybe you’re stressed at work, busy with school, or you’ve changed your diet habits — gaining and/or losing weight isn’t always a sign of cancer. But, if your weight has changed drastically (and out of nowhere), seeing a doctor would be the fastest way to rule out breast cancer. Dramatic weight change, for no reason, is always something that deserves your attention.

Nipple Discharge. Are your nipples sore or extremely painful to touch? There are a lot of reasons for nipple soreness; an intense workout, menstrual symptoms, change in diet, etc. But, are your nipples producing fluid-like discharge? If the answer is yes, and it’s not breast milk, it’s worth looking into. According to the Mayo Clinic, nipple discharge could be a sign of breast cancer if the discharge is bloody and/or spontaneous. Any change in your breasts warrants some attention.

woman.looking.at.armpit.Armpit Lump. Breast tissue goes further than the actual breasts, it extends as far as the armpit. According to Healthline, “the lymph nodes are located under your arm. This is why many people, especially women, get nervous when they find an armpit lump.” If you find a lump in your armpit it could be a sign that the cancer has spread. Not every lump is cancerous, but it is smart to get it checked out.

Orange Peel Skin. Changes in your skin could be a possible symptom of breast cancer. It’s common for someone with breast cancer to have breast skin that looks similar to an orange peel. According to Healthline, “It often looks pitted or ridged, like the peel of an orange.” This type of discoloration is a sign that should definitely be taken seriously.

You know your body, and you know what’s normal and what’s not. Paying attention to possible changes, and seeing a doctor, could in fact save your life! Don’t wait until it’s too late, educate yourself and others on knowing and understanding the signs of breast cancer.