With the big threat of breast cancer, specifically in women 50 and over, it’s crucial you do your breast exams frequently and get your mammograms every year or two. It is from key importance that you stay alerted on changes in your body that could be serving as warning indicators that something’s up.
Nobody wants breast cancer to be a reality, but preventing it early could truly be a matter of life or death. Most of us know the common warning signals of breast cancer such as a lump in the breast, but the rare ones are critical and you need to be aware of them as well.
- A NEW MOLE OR CHANGE IN AN EXISTING MOLE.
Moles are commonly connected with a higher risk of melanoma, which is a lethal form of skin cancer. Research has also discovered that moles are linked to breast cancer, however, as they can be influenced by hormone levels.
One study, which used data gathered from almost 90,000 French women ages 39 to 66 over an 18-year period, discovered that women who reported having a lot of moles were 13 percent more prone to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those who reported having no moles.
Another study, which studied 74,523 female nurses over the course of 24 years, showed that women who had 15 or more moles were 35 percent more probable to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those who didn’t have any.
Dermatologists advise reporting any changes in existing moles, too, including sudden growth, itching or bleeding.
- COUGH OR HOARSENESS THAT DOESN’T GO AWAY
Metastatic breast cancer, or stage four breast cancer, can be discovered if you go through a prolonged cough or hoarseness. This is an indicator that the cancer has spread to the lungs. Often associated with this are chest tightness, difficulty taking a deep breath, and an having troubles with breathing.
Between 60 percent and 70 percent of women who pass away from breast cancer have had it spread to their lungs at some point, and in 21 percent of the cases, the lung is the only area the cancer spread.
Everyone who experiences a cough that lasts longer than a month, or with blood in the mucus need to see a doctor immediately.
- CHANGES IN YOUR BLADDER OR BOWELS
Breast cancer can trigger hormonal changes that dry out the urethra, which can lead to incontinence.
Abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea can also be linked with breast cancer. And while the stomach is specifically not one of the first areas breast cancer spreads, it can actually happen and an upset stomach can be a signal of advanced breast cancer.
A study concluded that there’s connection between chronic diarrhea and metastatic breast cancer, due to the cancer spreading to the colon. While they urge the rarity of this situation, it is still a symptom not to be ignored.
- FEELING VERY WEAK OR TIRED
Fatigue is usually a present symptom at breast cancer diagnosis. One of the biggest indicators is the change in hormone levels.
Research has discovered that this symptom often co-occurs with other troublesome symptoms such as pain, sleep disturbance and depression.
- UNEXPLAINED BACK PAIN
Back pain seems like it suddenly occurs as you age — actually, about 8 out of 10 people will have back pain in their lives — but it’s also an indicator of breast cancer that ought not to be overlooked. It can vary from a dull ache to a sudden sharp pain when you attempt to lift something.
Upper back pain that feels like it’s coming from deep within the bones may be a sign that breast cancer tumors are forming. These tumors can put pressure on the ribs and spine, leading to the newfound pain that proves persistent.
It could also means that the breast cancer has spread to the spine.