Breast cancer, as with other types of cancer, has certain symptoms that we associate with it. These symptoms are red flags, and you should see your GP if you develop any. The first sign that something could be wrong is a lump on your breast. This is the symptom that most people associate with breast cancer, but there are other symptoms you need to be aware of.
According to the NHS, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. They estimate that about 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. Whilst it is a cancer that has relatively high survival rates, it is always best to get a diagnosis early on, to improve your prognosis and treatment.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Some of the main symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump, or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before.
- A change in the shape or size of either breast.
- A discharge or fluid from either of your nipples.
- A lump or swelling in either of your armpits.
- Skin changes in the breast, such as dimpling, puckering, or redness.
- A rash on or around your nipple.
- A change in the appearance or placement of your nipple, such as the nipple inverting or moving.
Pain in the breast, while not usually associated with breast cancer, can be a symptom in rare cases. If the pain is there all or most of the time, then it may be something that you need to get checked out.
It is also worth noting that in a lot of cases, a lump on your breast does not necessarily mean cancer. According to Cancer Research UK most breast lumps are benign, and can be something else entirely, such as cysts or fibroadenoma (a collection of fibrous glandular tissue). However, it is always best to see your GP straight away if you notice a lump.
Staying breast aware
It is also important to make sure you are breast aware. No one knows your body as well as you do, so making sure you are aware of how your breasts feel normally. This can be different at different times of the month, for example during your menstrual cycle, so it is important to understand what is normal for you. This can help you to spot the symptoms of breast cancer.
Finding Breast Cancer Early
The most common way that the NHS uses to find breast cancer is mammograms. Women between 50-70 are invited to attend breast screenings every three years. In England, this has been extended from 47-73.
These screenings are vital to detecting early stage breast cancer, which is usually extremely treatable. Cancer Research UK state that breast screening reduces the deaths from breast cancer by about 1,300 a year in the UK.
If breast cancer is not found early enough to be treatable, it can develop and even spread, therefore, it is important to get diagnosed as soon as possible.
If You Have Experienced A Delay in Diagnosis or Treatment
In most cases, Doctors pick up and treat cancer correctly. There are, however, cases where there is a delay in diagnosis by a doctor, or a delay in treatment. This can have devastating effects on both you and your loved ones, and there may be big changes that you need to make to your everyday life.
If you have had any of the symptoms of breast cancer, and experienced a delay in diagnosis or treatment, and it was not your fault, then you may be able to claim compensation. This is especially true if it has affected your prognosis or the treatment you need,
How We Can Help
Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with specialist solicitors who deal with delays in diagnosis every day. This includes delays in cancer diagnosis. They are well placed to help you get the compensation you may be entitled to claim. Contact us today by filling in our contact form, or by calling us on 01614138761 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.