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How to Recognize Breast Cancer Symptoms

Watch more Women's Health videos: Subscribe to Howcast's YouTube Channel - Learn how to recognize breast cancer symptoms with these guidelines from Howcast uploads the highest quality how-to videos daily! Be sure to check out our playlists for guides that interest you: Subscribe to Howcast's other YouTube Channels: Howcast Health Channel - Howcast Video Games Channel - Howcast Tech Channel - Howcast Food Channel - Howcast Arts & Recreation Channel - Howcast Sports & Fitness Channel - Howcast Personal Care & Style Channel - Howcast empowers people with engaging, useful how-to information wherever, whenever they need to know how. Emphasizing high-quality instructional videos, Howcast brings you experts who provide accurate information in easy-to-follow tutorials on everything from makeup, hairstyling, nail art design, and soccer to parkour, skateboarding, dancing, kissing, and much, much more. Warning This video does not replace actual medical advice. Always consult your doctor with any questions or concerns. Step 1: Do a monthly self-exam Start performing a monthly self-exam as soon as your breasts are fully developed. Checking yourself regularly is important -- you need to know what your breasts feel like normally so you can recognize any changes. Examine yourself several days after your period ends, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender. If you're no longer having periods, choose a day that's easy to remember, such as the first or last day of the month. Keep in mind that it's not uncommon for breasts to feel lumpy due to benign fibrocystic breast disease, cysts, scar tissue, infections, and other causes that have nothing to do with cancer. Tip For instructions on how to do a breast self-exam properly, go to "": Step 2: Have lumps checked Know what you're feeling for: a lump that feels different from your breast's normal lumpiness, like discovering a pebble in your oatmeal. Though many lumps are benign, anything that feels new or odd should be checked by your doctor -- even if you've recently had a clean mammogram. Check for lumps in your armpits, too. Tip Cancerous lumps are more likely to be hard, painless, and unmovable. Step 3: Beware of dimpled skin Look for visible changes, like dimpled, puckered, thickened, reddened, or scaly breast skin, or a flattening or indentation on the breast. All are potential breast cancer symptoms that should be evaluated. Step 4: Note nipple changes Recognize the nipple changes that can indicate breast cancer -- pain; redness; scaliness; itching; skin thickening; the nipple turning inward; or discharge other than breast milk. Step 5: Have pain and swelling evaluated See your doctor about swelling in all or part of your breast, or breast pain. Though swelling and soreness are usually no cause for concern, these symptoms can be signs of a rare but aggressive form of the disease known as inflammatory breast cancer. Step 6: Get regular check-ups Have your doctor perform a breast examination at your yearly check-up, and begin annual mammograms at age 40. If you have a family history of the disease, tell your doctor: they may suggest that you start having mammograms at an earlier age. Knowing the signs of breast cancer -- and being proactive about knowing how to recognize them early -- is the best way to protect yourself. Did You Know? In a "": survey of more than 2,200 women, 37 percent said they first detected their breast cancer with a self-exam.
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