Breast cancer in Malaysia is one of the deadliest types of cancer. In Malaysia, breast cancer is also the most common, followed by colon and cervical cancer.
If you happen to look for any insurance policy to protect yourself against cancer, you could refer to AXA’s cancer insurance online, or to PolicyStreet’s website to get the quick, fast, and complete lowdown and all-you-need-to-knows about cancer insurance in Malaysia.
The simple answer: not necessarily. We gathered several informative sites and broke down what they, and their authors, think should be a worrying lump indicative of breast cancer.
The Common Early Signs Of Breast Cancer
The breastcancer.org website and most of its writers commonly point out that lumps are most likely to be cancerous if:
- They do not cause pain,
- Are hard,
- Unevenly shaped, and
But sometimes breast lumps can be normal and are just natural breast tissue that develop in excess.
It should be less worrying also as some women find that their breasts tend to feel lumpy too, and some women even compare how lumpy, or what level of lumpiness their breasts are at.
It is important to note, however, what is considered a dangerous lump, and a normal lump. The Guardian identifies three ways to differentiate normal breast lumps for abnormal lumps:
The Distinction Between Normal And Abnormal Lumps
Abnormal lumps feel solid; they do not move easily under the skin
It should be more cause for concern when one breast feels a bit harder than the other.
Abnormal lumps are accompanied by other changes
“A dangerous breast lump is usually accompanied by physical changes such as suddenly inverted nipples, dimpled breast skin, changes in size or shape.
“Nipple discharge that is that is yellow, brown, red or bloody is something to pay attention to especially if it is present in just one breast.
“Some lumps appear on their own, with no additional changes to the breast, but should still be investigated by a doctor.
Among all these early signs of breast cancer though, pain in your breasts are a huge factor. At the same time they may not be any cause for concern for breast cancer but for something else.
Any redness or inflammation, especially among women who are breastfeeding is more likely to be an infection called mastitis. (Call your doctor for this; not breast cancer, but still important to treat.
Any pain that reappears at the same point in your menstrual cycle each month is not usually one of early signs of breast cancer.
Any differences such as pain in only ONE breast
If there is pain in only one side of your breast, along with the point that one side feels more solid than the other, the existence of an abnormal lump is more probable and you should tell your doctor about this.
What If My Breasts Feel Different?
The National Cancer Institute said this:
“If both breasts feel the same, it may be normal. Normal breast tissue can sometimes feel lumpy.
“Also, if you feel a lump in one breast, and then find a lump in the same place on the other breast, you are most likely feeling lumpy tissue.”
How To Feel Your Breasts
The website’s author Jennifer Huizen gives some tips on how to feel and look for abnormalities in your breasts:
Using the pad of the fingers, move in a circular motion from the inside, near the nipple, outward. People should feel for changes like lumps, thickenings, or pain.
Cover the entire breast area from the cleavage line to the surrounding chest, collarbone, and armpit area. This should be done both from side to side and up and down.
Apply light pressure to the surface of the breast and nipple. Apply medium and firm pressure to feel for the deeper tissue closer to the rib cage and back muscles.
The nipple should also be squeezed, checking for discharge, lumps, and pain.
Repeat while lying down, allowing the breast tissue to rest evenly against the chest wall.
The Other Less Well Known Early Signs Of Breast Cancer
According to Breast Cancer Care, you should check your breasts for any lumps or unusual changes every four to six weeks. Women of all ages are also susceptible to these changes, so it doesn’t matter if you are young or old.
In one of the organisation’s survey, it noted that although most women knew that a lump in your breast is a serious symptom/early sign of breast cancer, they are less knowledgeable of other symptoms.
- Two-fifths (39%) did not know to look out for redness or a rash on the breast or nipple
- Over a quarter (28%) did not know a nipple becoming inverted can be a symptom
- Nearly a quarter (23%) did not identify nipple discharge as a symptom
All this means that although you should check for breast lumps, breast cancer has many other symptoms too and you would do well to be aware of many of the less mainstream symptoms such as rashes, inverted nipples, and nipple discharge.
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