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Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

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As the Paint it Pink campaign to fundraise and build awareness of breast cancer kicks into gear, we take a look at the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Finding a change in your breast can be a pretty terrifying moment, and one you never truly forget regardless of the outcome. The immediate thought is ‘cancer’ and stone cold fear strikes every woman when a routine self examination throws up an irregularity. Although it’s worth remembering that 9 out of 10 changes won’t turn out to be breast cancer. While those are pretty reassuring odds it’s still necessary to check out any change you notice in you breast to either dispell your wrries, or to get a  lightening quick grip on the potential illness as soon as possible.

The signs and symptoms of breast cancer can include:

  • A change in size or shape such as one breast becoming larger than the other
  • Changes in the skin around the breast. If you notice a puckering or dimpling (like orange peel) or redness check it out. The same warning bells should raised if there is a change on or around the nipple such as a rash or flaky or crusted skin.
  • A change in the direction or shape of your nipple, especially if it sinks into your breast or becomes irregular in shape
  • An unusual discharge from one or both of your nipples
  • Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone
  • A lump or thickening in your breast
  • Constant pain in one part of your breast or armpit

If you notice any one of these changes talk to your doctor without delay. As we mentioned earlier 9 out of 10 changes won’t turn out to be breast cancer. But if they are, the sooner this is diagnosed the more effective treatment will be.

Anyone who is concerned about breast awareness or breast cancer can speak with a specialist nurse in confidence by calling the Irish Cancer Society’s National Cancer Helpline on Freefone 1800 200 700. (The helpline runs Monday to Thursday from 9am to 7pm, and every Friday from 9am to 5pm.)

You can also visit our website www.cancer.ie or email: [email protected]

This October the Irish Cancer Society is calling on men and women all over Ireland to come together to fight breast cancer by taking part in their new Paint it Pink campaign. The campaign is all about: doing something big or small to paint it pink on October 3rd by hosting a pink event or doing something pink, sharing pictures of your activity on social media #PINKPICS, and texting the word Pink 50300 to donate €4 to the Society.

There are so many ways to get involved. Visit www.paintitpink.ie for more information, ideas and much more!

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