What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?
Screening for breast cancer by mammography (X-raying the breast) is offered every three years in the UK to all women between 50 and 64. The highest number of cases of breast cancer occurs in women between these ages.
Mammography can detect very early breast tumours, when they are too small to be felt. In fact, most of the breast cancers detected by screening are at this very early stage, when they are relatively easy to cure. Studies have shown that women who take part in screening are more likely to have breast cancer diagnosed early and more likely to have it cured and, as a result, are less likely to die from it, than women who do not take part in mammography screening.
Another method of screening available to all women is to feel the breasts for any lumps. A guide on how to do this properly can be obtained at any doctor's surgery. Women should also check for the other main symptoms:
- Change in the size or shape of a breast
- Dimpling of the breast skin
- The nipple becoming inverted
- Swelling or a lump in the armpit