Q. I felt a lump under my arm, in the area of my armpit, not in my breast. So that means I don’t have to worry about breast cancer, right? A. Wrong. Your breasts don’t begin and end right there front and center on your chest; breast tissue can actually stretch up under the arm. In addition, there are a number of lymph nodes in your armpits that, when swollen, are a sign your body is fighting an infection… or cancer. Previous Breast Cancer Symptom: Dimpled Skin Next Breast Cancer Symptom: Swelling and Hot Sensation
One study found that male breast cancer is on the rise, with a 25% increase over the 25 years from 1973 to 1988. But it's still rare. It's unclear whether the reported rise means the disease is slowly becoming more common, or whether men better understand the symptoms and report their symptoms, leading to diagnoses that might have been missed in the past.
If you notice any persistent changes to your breasts, you should contact your doctor. Here are some signs to watch for:
a lump felt in the breast
an inverted nipple
nipple discharge (clear or bloody)
sores on the nipple and areola (the small ring of color around the center of the nipple)
enlarged lymph nodes under the arm
It's important to note that enlargement of both breasts (not just on one side) is usually NOT cancer. The medical term for this is gynecomastia. Sometimes the breasts can become quite large. Non-cancer-related enlargement of the breasts can be caused by medications, heavy alcohol use, weight gain, or m...
Mammograms can be used for both screening and diagnostic purposes. Screening is recommended for all women, beginning at age 40, and allows radiologists to monitor breast tissue over periods of time. Sometimes, mammography can detect changes, lumps and bumps long before patients and physicians can feel them. Screening—which may be necessary prior to age 40 for those with a family history of the disease—is key for early detection and is intended for women who are asymptomatic, who are not experiencing any breast problems. Screening mammograms typically consist of four x-ray views, two of each breast. After a technician takes pictures and reviews them for quality, the patient can leave, only to be called back if something suspicious is found. Diagnostic mammograms start with the same four pictures but are supplemented with additional views, a physical exam, ultrasound, and sometimes MRI. This is because women receiving diagnostic mammograms are experiencing a problem—perh...
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