Warn­ing over non­lump breast can­cers

Malta Independent - - HEALTH -

Around one in six cases of breast can­cer be­gins with symp­toms other than a sus­pect lump, ex­perts are warn­ing.

Re­searchers from Univer­sity Col­lege London say women need to be aware of other warn­ing signs - such as nip­ple changes - so that they get help fast.

The re­searchers ex­am­ined the symp­toms of 2,300 women who had re­cently been di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer.

They found that women with non-lump symp­toms were more likely to put off vis­it­ing their doc­tor.

The re­searchers are pre­sent­ing their work at the Na­tional Can­cer Re­search In­sti­tute con­fer­ence in Liver­pool.

Swellings in the armpit or an in­fec­tion of the breast tis­sue should be checked out, they say. So too should nip­ple changes - rashes, bleed­ing or dis­charge - and any sores on the skin of the breasts.

Dr Karen Kennedy, di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Can­cer Re­search In­sti­tute, said: “This re­search shows that, all too of­ten, women are de­lay­ing go­ing to their doc­tor with symp­toms of breast can­cer.

“This could be be­cause peo­ple are sim­ply un­aware that breast can­cer can present in many dif­fer­ent ways, not just through the pres­ence of a lump.

“With a dis­ease like breast can­cer, it’s es­sen­tial to be di­ag­nosed as early as pos­si­ble so that a treat­ment plan can be de­vel­oped and started.”

In Eng­land and Wales, about nine in ev­ery 10 women di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer will sur­vive for at least five or more years.

And about six out of ev­ery 10 can ex­pect to sur­vive for more than 20 years.

The more time that passes since di­ag­no­sis, the less likely it is that can­cer will come back.

Women in the UK aged be­tween 50 and 70 are in­vited for breast screen­ing ev­ery three years.

Breast can­cer symp­toms and signs

See your GP if you no­tice:

A new lump or area of thick­ened tis­sue in ei­ther breast that was not there be­fore

A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts Blood­stained dis­charge from ei­ther of your nip­ples

A lump or swelling in ei­ther of your armpits Dim­pling on the skin of your breasts

A rash on or around your nip­ple

A change in the ap­pear­ance of your nip­ple, such as be­com­ing sunken into your breast

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