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Breast cancer sign that is often ignored Featured

Breast cancer

The month of October is globally observed as Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is the most commonly present cancer among women, with over 2 million cases increasing every year, according to the World Cancer Research Fund.

In India itself, breast cancer is becoming more prevalent among younger women, with diagnosis at a later stage leading to a low survival rate.

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer

Hence, awareness and education can save many lives. Signs, found out early on, can help nip out breast cancer, like any other kind of cancer. Early warning signs and preventive steps like these are essential for survival. While it is a crucial step to go for regular screenings, checkups, the truth is, people won't always know what breast cancer can look like. The signs vary and different people exhibit different symptoms.

Most women, or even men alike, think that a change in the size, the appearance of the breasts or feeling a little lumpy texture in and around the breasts are the only warning signs to look out for. There is one more important change that can detect signs of breast cancer at an early stage.

Is your skin turning red or orange?

An abnormal lump, leaky discharge or swelling isn't the only sign pointing to trouble. Another sign which people often ignore is skin dimpling.

Do not overlook this crucial symptom

Skin dimpling is a less common sign of cancer but according to doctors, this is one step no person should miss out on while checking for signs. A rash or a scab that can cause the skin to turn red, itchy and flaky is a sign of skin dimpling. In some cases, a severe form of skin dimpling or infection can also lead to swelling and thickening of the skin around the breasts, also accompanied by skin pits and inversion or retraction of the nipple. Prominently, the dimpled skin looks and resembles an orange peel- prickly and of carrying a bright tinge.

What leads to skin dimpling?

It is mostly associated with the form of inflammatory breast cancer, which has lower occurrence but is extremely aggressive. In such a case, the lymph nodes and vessels in and around the skin get affected, which leads to textural changes.

Skin dimpling can also occur due to a condition called fat necrosis. Damaged fatty tissues around the breast can accumulate and make the skin look dimpled. If the lump grows close to the dimpled skin, it is a cause of concern.

Look out these signs!

If your skin dimpling is accompanied by other signs like these, attend to it immediately

-Swelling and warmness in and around the breast.

-Breast tenderness

-Pain in the affected breast

-Burning sensation or prickly feeling.

-Reddish, darkened appearance on either of the breasts.

How often should you perform breast exams?

Early detection and awareness is the key to treatment and prevention. Performing a breast exam, once a year, or every six months, if you have a family history of cancer is a good call. Guidelines suggest that people should go for regular mammograms and screenings post the age of 35.

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