Early Signs of Breast Cancer


Unfortunately, breast cancer is incredibly common and 1 In 7 (15%) of UK females will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life. Breast cancer symptoms vary from person to person and some may not notice any signs at all. Luckily, with early breast cancer detection, the disease is very treatable and the sooner it is found the higher the likelihood of successful treatment. 

Most women who develop breast cancer will be over the age of 50, even though there are cases in younger women. If you notice any changes to your breasts it is important to get them examined immediately by a doctor. At LycaHealth we offer a private breast screening service that provides women with a comprehensive one stop breast screening service. 

Being Breast Cancer Aware

73% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will survive 10 years or more, and the odds of survival increase the earlier the disease is detected. It is vital you check your breasts at home every month to become familiar with what your breasts normally look and feel like. It is important to be breast aware and understand the normal changes your body goes through so you can pick up the early signs of breast cancer. Here are our tips for being breast aware:

  • Learn what is normal for you
  • Monitor the look and feel of your breasts monthly
  • Understand the signs to look out for
  • See a healthcare professional if you notice any signs or changes in your breasts
  • Attend regular breast screenings if you are over 40

What Are The Early Signs Of Breast Cancer?

Carry out a self-examine of your breasts every month and look out for the early signs of breast cancer:

  • A lump or swelling and thickening in your breast: if you find a new lump that doesn’t go away or a swelling and thickening in your breast, it is important to get it checked by a medical professional. This is often the first sign of breast cancer and can be picked up on a mammogram long before you can feel anything. 
  • Changes to your nipple: a discharge or fluid coming from one or both nipples, a change in the appearance of your nipple; such as becoming sunken, inverted, covered in a rash or developing crusting are signs you need to book an appointment with a healthcare professional.
  • Changes in the appearance of your skin: if you notice a dimpling of the skin (similar to the skin of an orange) a rash developing on your breast or changes to the texture, colour (it may look red and inflamed) and temperature of your breasts, book an appointment with us.
  • Change in breast size: if you notice a change in the size or shape of your breasts, especially if the change is one-sided, we recommend you book an appointment.
  • A lump or swelling in your armpits, upper chest or collarbone: you can’t usually feel the lymph nodes in your body unless you are fighting a cold or infection, however a less common cause of lymph node swelling is breast cancer. Make sure you get checked if you notice a lump or swelling in your armpit, collarbone or upper chest. 

Do I Need To Worry About Breast Pain?

Breast pain is very common and is not often an associated symptom of breast cancer. You may get pain in one or both breasts that comes and goes from time to time and there may be no obvious reason for this pain, even after having multiple tests. It is worth getting breast pain checked by a healthcare professional to determine if further tests are needed.

Book in to see one of our GPs today to determine if you need further testing. 

Breast Changes During The Menstrual Cycle

It is important to note the changes your breasts go through around your menstrual cycle. Just before your period you may notice your breasts feel lumpy or tender. We recommend you check your breasts again the following month and a few days after your period is over; if the lumpiness comes and goes in relation to your period and if it occurs in both breasts then there is nothing to worry about.

The more you monitor your breasts during different phases of your menstrual cycle the more you will get to know your body and what changes are normal for you. 

Private Breast Screening

We offer a private breast screening service at our London clinics with rapid results meaning you don’t need to wait for diagnosis or treatment if required. We screen both symptomatic and non-symptomatic patients and you can self-refer for your breast screening appointment. Get in touch if you have any questions or want further information on our breast clinic. Catching breast cancer early hugely increases your chances of a successful recovery. 

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