Early Warning Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer is a type of cancer that starts to develop in the cells of your breast. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in India, registering for around 13.5% of all new cancer cases. As shocking and terrifying as it might sound, every 4 minutes a woman in India is diagnosed with breast cancer. While breast cancer can also occur in men as well, it has a highly slim chance, which is less than 1% of all cases. Geographically speaking, urban women have a higher chance of getting diagnosed than in rural areas.

Understanding Breast Cancer

The cancer starts when the cells in the breast begin to grow with no control. It forms a tumour that is noticed in an x-ray or feels like a lump. The tumour is malignant, meaning cancerous if the cells start affecting surrounding tissues or spread into distant areas of the body.

How intensive can breast cancer get?

Ranging from an early-stage cancer to an advanced-stage cancer that ends up spreading to other parts of the body, breast cancer has 5 stages starting from 0. It is very important to diagnose the stage of cancer so the doctors can identify treatable options and prognosis. With technological advancements treatment options are important, but since the battle is against stubborn and dangerous cancer cells, early detection is still the key to a high chance of curability.

Signs and Symptoms:

There can be special situations where the body has shown no sign yet you unfortunately can get diagnosed with breast cancer. At the same time, there can be noticeable symptoms one should look out for, to treat as soon as possible.

These are the symptoms that can help with early detection:

Change in thickness or Breast swelling

You might notice, that the tissues of your breasts, around the nipple area is getting swelled up, or have a little rash.

Nipple Discharge

Usually, there is a fluid, mostly occurs as white, that gets discharged from your nipple(s). This is a very common symptom, as it occurs in 1 in every 5 women.

New lump near the breast area or underarm

Also known as a cyst, a lump can be considered as another important symptom to be noticed. It doesn’t need to be cancerous, but precaution is always better than cure.

Change in texture and shape of the nipple

The nipple(s) might become inward, have rashes on it, or might have discoloration, which can indicate towards a first stage cancer.

Dimpling of the skin around the breast

This type of cancer can be serious. It is quite an evident symptom one can look out for. It can cause serious irritation.

Breast pain

Yet another direct symptom, consequent discomfort around your breast area is also another alarming symptom.

The symptoms, the pain, this discolouration, everything is different from body to body, person to person. Yet these are a few reasons that could be an alarming bell. Getting them checked is the best option.

Importance of mammograms and doctor/hospital facilities

In the diagnosis of breast cancer for early detection, there can be some signs that might not be realisable to the naked eye. Even a doctor cannot diagnose without proper technical tests run on the body. Mammograms and advanced X-rays become an essential prerequisite for diagnosing breast cancer in patients. These can point to signs and symptoms of invasive breast cancer

Symptoms for early invasive breast cancer

Irritated, itchy breasts

Sometimes a rash might persist longer and make it an irritating process leading up to an itchy breast.

Drastic change in shape

After a thick swelling that refuses to be damaged, it later affects the size and shape of the breast. The drastic and continuous change in shape can be dangerous.

Changes in touch and feel

The sensation to your boobs might get affected, you might not experience the same touch, might not even feel it.

These symptoms are more over-the-board and brutal, that has a possibility of getting diagnosed with breast cancer but at a later stage, keeping treatable options limited and time sensitive. Stay alert in noticing early stage symptoms that are not always too evident.

People who should be more careful

Family history plays a huge role in calculating risk and probability of getting a positive diagnosis. A close blood relative like a mother or a sister having any past history of breast cancer can significantly have a higher risk of getting diagnosed with breast cancer. In that case, you should at least get a mammography once a year post the age of 30. Again, precaution is better than cure.

Technology Advancement in Breast Cancer Detection

Advancements with hospital equipment have revolutionised the detection and treatment of breast cancer. A lot of scientists and people in the R&D department try to reduce the risk, and as with cancer, it has always been an objective to make cancer 100% treatable and curable. The advancements today are shown through:

  • 3D Mammography
  • Breast MRI
  • Digital Mammography
  • Molecular breast imaging

These technologies can help with earlier  detection and more precise diagnosis, leading for definitive outcomes for patients.

Choosing the right treatment option

The doctor might not even choose the treatment for you, as it might come with a couple of options. It is not only about surgery or chemotherapy, it also includes double mastectomy, single vasectomy, or combinations of theory. One should know the after effects of the treatment options, find a doctor or a hospital facility that will guide you properly through your way and can help approach that suits you and your situation.


Worldwide, especially in India, breast cancer is a major health concern for women. Increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome in treatment requires early detection of breast cancer by routine screening and knowledge of its signs and symptoms. It’s critical to remain educated about breast cancer and to get help if you see any changes to your breasts. The prognosis for people with breast cancer is improving steadily because of developments in technology and available Cancer treatments, giving them hope for a better future.

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