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According to Cancer Australia, 1 in 8 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85 - as such, breast cancer is a serious health concern for all Australian women, making increased breast cancer awareness vitally important. A lesser known fact is that men can also develop breast cancer. There are symptoms that both men and women can look out for. We've looked to Cancer Australia for information on symptoms associated with breast cancer.
Breasts naturally change throughout the course of an individual's life due to events such as puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, breastfeeding, and changes in age and weight. Understanding what is normal in terms of the appearance and feel of your own breasts, can assist in noticing any atypical or irregular changes. Regularly inspecting your breasts can assist with the early detection of breast cancer, and early detection will give you the highest chances of successful recovery. Keep watch for any of the following symptoms, as these could be an indication of breast cancer. Always ensure you speak with your doctor if you have any concerns at all.
Lumps can form anywhere on the breast tissue, including on the nipple. General lumpiness and thickening can also occur, changing the shape and feel of the breast. Ideally, healthy breasts will be round and smooth.
A change in shape, or the appearance of a sore, ulcer, crusting on the skin, uncharacteristic redness or unusual discharge, should be closely watched. If the nipple is now inverted (turns in) when it originally stuck out, ask your doctor to take a look during your next appointment. Breast cancer can cause changes such as dimpling (a small dip in the flesh) and other skin colour changes. The breast can also increase or decrease in size, depending on how the abnormal cells are affecting the lobules, ducts and surrounding tissue. Changes that severely alter the size of the breast should encourage you to seek medical advice immediately.
Pain or Discomfort
Breast cancer is known to also affect tissue near the armpit. This can lead to swelling and discomfort, particularly when your arms are resting by your sides. Pain and sensitivity in the breasts is also common during a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, pain caused by breast cancer is often felt after a period and is typically only present in one breast.
Get a Mammogram
While any of these symptoms should encourage you to book a consultation with your doctor, it is important to note that some breast cancer patients experience no symptoms whatsoever. In these cases, breast cancer can only be detected by a mammogram, which can identify breast cancer that you or your doctor may have missed. Women aged between 50-74 are eligible for a free mammogram through the BreastScreen Australia program.
Interflora has collaborated with the McGrath Foundation to create six specially designed floral gifts, and Interflora will be donating 5% of every sale from this collection to the McGrath Foundation. The McGrath Foundation’s vision is to ensure that every person experiencing breast cancer has access to a dedicated breast care nurse no matter where they live or their financial situation. Take a look through the collection and order your Interflora flowers online today!