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Breast cancer can have different symptoms for different people. Most don’t notice any signs at all.
The most common symptom is a lump in your breast or armpit. Others include skin changes, pain, a nipple that pulls inward, and unusual discharge from your nipple.
Common symptoms of breast cancer include:
There are several kinds of breast cancer. Many of them share symptoms.
Symptoms of ductal carcinoma
This is the most common type of breast cancer. It begins in your ducts. About 1 in 5 new breast cancers are ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). This means you have cancer in the cells that line your ducts, but it hasn’t spread into nearby tissue.
You may not notice any symptoms of ductal carcinoma. It can also cause a breast lump or bloody discharge.
Symptoms of lobular carcinoma
This kind begins in the glands that make milk, called lobules. It’s the second most common type of breast cancer. Symptoms include:
Symptoms of invasive breast cancer
Breast cancer that’s spread from where it began into the tissues around it is called invasive or infiltrating. You may notice:
Symptoms of metastatic breast cancer
Without treatment, breast cancer can spread to other parts of your body, including other organs. This is called metastatic, advanced, or secondary breast cancer. Depending on where it is, you may have:
Symptoms of triple-negative breast cancer
Breast cancer is called triple-negative if it doesn’t have receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone and doesn’t make a lot of a protein called HER2. This kind tends to grow and spread faster than other types, and doctors treat it differently.
Triple-negative tumors make up 10% to 15% of breast cancers. They cause the same symptoms as other common types.
Symptoms of male breast cancer
About 1% of breast cancers happen in men. Because it’s so rare, you may not pay attention to the symptoms until the cancer has grown. Watch for:
Symptoms of Paget’s disease of the breast
This type often happens along with ductal carcinoma. It affects the skin of your nipple and areola. Symptoms may look like eczema and include:
Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare type that causes symptoms similar to an infection. They include:
Symptoms of papillary carcinoma
This is a very rare type of ductal cancer. It’s named for the tiny lumps, or papules, on the tumor. Common symptoms include:
Symptoms of angiosarcoma
Fewer than 2% of breast cancers are angiosarcomas. These start in the cells that line your blood vessels or lymph nodes. Angiosarcoma may cause:
Breast lumps are common and usually aren’t cancer. Other conditions that can cause them include:
Talk to your doctor if you notice any kind of lump in your breast or armpit. Get medical care as soon as possible if you also have signs of an infection such as redness, swelling, or discharge.
Breast cancer can come back, or recur, long after treatment. It may be in the same breast (local), in the lymph nodes near the original cancer (regional), or in a part of your body that’s farther away (metastatic or distant).
Cancer is most likely to come back in the first 2 years after treatment. After that period, the risk goes down over time.
Your doctor will talk with you about what to watch for. Local symptoms include:
Mastectomy and surgery to replace a breast (reconstruction) may lead to a buildup of scar tissue or fat cells. These lumps aren’t cancer. But it’s important to let your doctor know about them and watch for changes.
Symptoms of regional recurrence include:
Symptoms of metastatic recurrence depend on what body part is affected. The most common places are your bones, lungs, brain, and liver. You may have:
It is important to follow certain steps to make sure that wearing your mask is most effective. The World Health Organization outlines the following suggestions and tips for wearing a cloth mask and medical mask.
For the cloth mask to be most safe and effective, it is important that you do not: wear a dirty mask, share masks, wear your mask under your nose, or wear a loose mask
For the medical mask to be most safe and effective, it is important that you do not: reuse a medical mask, wear your mask under your nose, wear a loose mask, or use a ripped mask
While you don’t need to wear a mask in your own car if you’re alone, you should always bring a mask with you. If you’re going somewhere outdoors and there is a chance there would be some crowds of people, then yes, bring and wear your mask while you’re outside. Also keep in mind that wearing a mask does not replace social distancing.
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