Breast cancer awareness can be hindered by persistent myths and confusion surrounding the disease, its causes, screening tests, and more. Here are 4 key facts about breast cancer that everyone should know.
- Men Can Get Breast Cancer, Too
Some men do get breast cancer. Men can get breast cancer, but, it’s about 100 times more common in women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). There will be an estimated 2,550 cases of male breast cancer in 2018, the ACS reports.
- Lumps Are The Most Common Breast Cancer Symptom
A lump is the typical signal of breast cancer. Lumps are the most common symptom of breast cancer, according to the ACS. If a breast cancer spreads to the lymph nodes, it may cause lumps and swelling around the collarbone or under your arm, even if the original tumor in the breast is still too small to be felt. If you notice a lump, always see a doctor to have it checked out. Most breast lumps are benign, and some may go away on their own, but Attai previously told INSIDER that it’s ‘’always reasonable’’ to have lumps checked.
- But There Are Other Possible Symptoms, Like Skin Changes and Pain
Changes in your nipples could be a sign of breast cancer, too. The ACS adds that other symptoms may also signal breast cancer, including breast swelling; breast or nipple pain; the nipple turning inward; red, scaly, or thickening breast or nipple skin; and any nipple discharge that’s not breast milk.
- You Don’t Need To Do Breast Self-Exams On A Rigid Schedule
Self-exams can cause unnecessary worries. Doctors used to urge women to do breast self-exams to hunt for potentially problematic lumps, but that advice has since fallen out of favor.
“Back then, when we did not have the high-quality imaging that we have now, self-exams led to a lot of worries… and a lot of unnecessary surgery and procedures,” Attai previously to the INSDIER. (Remember, many breast lumps aren’t cancerous at all.)
Instead, experts now recommend an approach called breast self-awareness. It’s like watching your moles for potential signs of skin cancer.
Get to know how your breasts normally look and feel and keep an eye out for changes, but don’t feel like you need to perform self-exams on a rigid schedule, especially if doing so might make you anxious.