About 17 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer experience symptoms other than breast lump, a most common symptom of breast cancer, reports a recent research.
According to the study presented at 2016 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer conference in Liverpool, about one in six women diagnosed with non-lump breast cancer experiences symptoms like breast pain, shape abnormalities, ulceration, inflamed or infected breast and skin abnormalities.
For the purpose of the study, the researchers reviewed data of over 2,300 women diagnosed with breast cancer in Britain between 2009 and 2010. Despite the fact that most women got medical attention quickly, women with non-lump breast cancer delayed seeking medical help when compared to those that had breast lumps.
Notably, women who had breast lump along with non-lump symptoms were also found to have delayed seeking medical attention. It was also observed that women who experienced symptoms like infection or inflammation in breast, breast ulceration, pain or swelling in the arm or armpit and nipple abnormalities delayed for more than three months to seek medical aid.
Monica Koo, who presented the study, said that one in six women delay getting help for non-lump breast cancer. Women should be aware of the fact that lump in breast is not the only symptom of cancer. Women should visit a physician as soon as they start experiencing any abnormality in breast.
Koo added that diagnosing cancer as early as possible will help in increasing the patient's survival rate. Women should be made aware of all the symptoms of breast cancer through campaigns like Be Clear on Cancer for early intervention.
Dr Karen Kennedy, NCRI's director, said that the research reveals that women are not much aware of the fact that breast cancer could exhibit various symptoms other than just the lump.
"Awareness campaigns need to raise awareness of all of the potential symptoms of breast cancer so that people know how to spot the signs and when to go to a doctor," said Kennedy in press release.
The symptoms of breast cancer include pain in nipple, nipple turning inward, nipple discharge other than breast milk, lump in underarms, breast pain, dimpling or skin irritation, swelling of breast and scaliness, redness or thickening of breast skin or nipples, reports Breast Cancer.Org.
While the above symptoms could indicate the presence of breast cancer, they can also be due to various non-cancerous problems like infection or cyst. However, women should seek medical aid as soon as the symptoms are felt in order to severe consequences in later stages.