Early diagnosis of cancer is incredibly important. Breast cancer is one of the more common types of cancer in the United States, impacting both men and women. It is important for people to know exactly what signs and symptoms to look out for.
Part of the reason to look for these symptoms is simply to go see the doctor as soon as they present themselves. However, you also want to know what to watch for in case the doctor makes a mistake. A misdiagnosis could prove deadly. Doctors are human, and they do make errors. If you recognize these symptoms, it may be wise to keep pursuing it and get a second opinion.
Most people know that the most common symptom is a lump in the breast. That is true, and it’s often the key point that starts a medical investigation into what may be wrong. It’s not always cancer, but it often is.
That said, this is certainly not the only symptom. Others include:
- Redness and other skin changes around the site
- Any notable swelling, especially when it persists
- Breast shape or size changes that come on for no other reason
- Discharge from the nipples or changes to their appearance
- Chest and breast pain, which may be consistent and have no clear underlying cause
- Skin that begins to peel or flake away
- An itchy feeling or a general sense of irritation
- Changes to the way that the breast or the skin feels when touched — it may become warm, for instance, or hard
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Other symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as an antibiotic
The symptoms can also change as the disease progresses, especially if it begins to spread throughout the body. You may start to feel fatigued, begin coughing frequently, suffer from headaches and memory issues, and much more. It depends how aggressive the cancer is and where it spreads.
Please note that these are not all of the possible breast cancer symptoms, and symptoms are different for different people. There could be a reason for the symptoms that is not cancer, such as itchy skin resulting from allergies. In other cases, people do not have any symptoms at all, but they still do have cancer. Each case is unique. Do not take this as the final word. Always go see your doctor if you feel concerned about your health.
What if the doctor misses it?
So, what if you do go to the doctor and they don’t catch it? They misdiagnose you or tell you nothing is wrong. This can put you in grave danger. Make sure that you understand what legal options you may have, especially when your condition worsens.