A sharp pain in your breast, possibly with some tenderness, may have you wondering if it could be something serious. A breast lump is often the first thing that women and even men notice that spurs a visit to their doctor. We often associate pain with something wrong, so when women feel tenderness or pain in their breast, they often assume it to be breast cancer. However, breast pain is rarely the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer. Several other factors can cause the pain.
Symptoms and Signs - National Breast Cancer Foundation
While many women go to the doctor after finding a lump, every woman should also be aware of other changes to the breast or nipple. For example, invasive ductal carcinoma IDC , which forms in the milk ducts, may cause a distinct breast lump that you can feel. Invasive lobular carcinoma ILC , which forms in milk-producing glands, may cause a thickening in the breast. Symptoms of breast tumors vary from person to person. Some common, early warning signs of breast cancer include:. It's important to remember that other, benign conditions may have caused these changes. For example, changes to the skin texture on the breast may be caused by a skin condition like eczema, and swollen lymph nodes may be caused by an infection in the breast or another, unrelated illness.
All the while providing little in the way of practical preventative tips and tools that women can use to avoid this common form of cancer. You can also learn about the stages of cancer here. The most common way that conventional doctors look for the first signs of breast cancer in women is to identify lumps in the breast. They most often do this with mammogram x-rays. But mammograms can be a potential cause of cancer due to the ionizing radiation they send into breast tissue.
Each breast contains 15 to 20 lobes of glandular tissue, arranged like the petals of a daisy. The lobes are further divided into smaller lobules that produce milk for breast-feeding. Small tubes ducts conduct the milk to a reservoir that lies just beneath your nipple.