Lesser known symptoms of breast cancer to know

Aside from lumps, what are less talked about symptoms that women should know about breast cancer?

We know with early detection breast cancer is very survivable and we know that a lump can be a sign of breast cancer. But what about the symptoms that don't get much attention?

It can be common for women to experience general breast pain at some point in their lives, but a specific type of pain is concerning.

It's can be one of the lesser known signs of breast cancer says Dr. Holly Pederson, a Cleveland Clinic breast cancer expert.

 "Pain that's persistent in one particular spot in the breast can be a sign of breast cancer even in the absence of feeling a lump," Pederson said.

Pederson says red spots on the breast or a rash that doesn't go away are also cause for alarm.  Skin changes on the nipple like flaking and any discharge might be a warning sign.

Pederson says if you lean forward or raise your arms and notice any distinct asymmetry or dimpling, creasing or puckering of the skin on your breasts, it should be checked out.

"What you're actually seeing with a pucker is sort of a tethering to an underlying breast cancer and sometimes you only see it when the tissue is stretched," Pederson said.

You should know the most common sign of breast cancer is no sign at all, that's why it's critical for most women to get a screening mammogram. 

The American Cancer Society recommends that starts at age 40.  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says mammograms should start at age 50.

Because there's not enough evidence that early screening does more good than harm.

If you're unclear, you can have a conversation with your doctor about your personal risk factors and go from there.

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