Breast cancer history and symptoms
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Breast cancer history and symptoms On the Web
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Symptoms of breast cancer include a lump in the breast, discharge from the nipple, and thickening of the skin.
- The medical history of a person's family may also help the doctor to diagnose breast cancer. 
- In taking a medical history, the doctor will ask questions about:
- A personal history of
- A family history of
- Signs and symptoms that may suggest breast cancer
- When was the lump first noticed?
- Has it changed in size or in any other way? This includes a nipple becoming inverted.
- Menstrual history. If she is premenopausal, when was her last menstrual period?
- Is there any discharge from the nipple?
- Go through the risk factors
- The lump is present all the time and does not get smaller or go away with the menstrual cycle.
- The lump may feel like it is attached to the skin or chest wall and cannot be moved.
- The lump may feel hard, irregular in shape and very different from the rest of the breast tissue.
- The lump may be tender, but it is usually not painful.
- Pain is more often a symptom of a non-cancerous (benign) condition, but should be checked by a doctor.
- Lump in the axilla
- Sometimes small, hard lumps in the armpit may be a sign that breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Although these lumps are often painless, they may be tender.
- Changes in breast shape or size
- Skin changes
- The skin of the breast may become dimpled or puckered.
- A thickening and dimpling of the skin is called orange peel skin, or peau d’orange.
- Redness, swelling and increased warmth (signs that look like an infection) may be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer.
- Itching of the breast or nipple may be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer.
- Itchiness is often not relieved by ointments, creams or other medications.
- Nipple changes
- Some people’s nipples are always pointed inward (inverted). Normal nipples that suddenly become inverted should be checked by a doctor.
- Discharge from the nipples can be caused by many conditions, most of which are non-cancerous (benign).
- Discharge from one nipple may be a sign of breast cancer, especially if it appears without squeezing the nipple (is spontaneous) and is blood-stained.
- Crusting, ulcers or scaling on the nipple may be a sign of some rare types of breast cancer, such as Paget's disease of the nipple.
Following associated symptoms occur as cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs:
- Shortness of breath
- Breast cancer. Canadian Cancer Society (2015) http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/breast/diagnosis/?region=on Accessed on January 16, 2016
- Breast lumps and breast examination. patients (2015) http://patient.info/doctor/breast-lumps-and-breast-examination Accessed on January 18, 2016