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Breast cancer signs other than lumps

Although New York health care providers may remind women to perform monthly exams to spot early signs of breast cancer, it is important to recognize that there are other possible symptoms to consider. In fact, a study conducted in England suggests that approximately 17 percent of individuals who receive a breast cancer diagnosis actually visit their provider because of these other symptoms rather than lumps.

In addition to lumps, early signs of breast cancer could include abnormalities in nipples or skin, ulceration, breast pain, or contour issues. Breast infections, armpit lumps, and breathlessness could also be the first symptoms noticed. Approximately 76 percent of women present solely with breast lumps. Another 11 percent present with breast-related issues that are not lumps as their sole symptoms. In 6 percent of breast cancer cases, patients have breast lumps in addition to one or more other symptoms.

A delayed cancer diagnosis can lead to deadly outcomes. Those who notice breast cancer symptoms but delay in seeking treatment tend to have poor survival rates. Statistics show that approximately 7 percent of individuals who notice lumps wait more than three months to see a doctor. However, one of every five women with a lump and another symptom of breast cancer wait this long. Those with symptoms other than a lump might not realize the significance of their symptoms, which may imply a need for more comprehensive patient education and public awareness efforts.

Delays in diagnosis can occur because of a patient's refusal to go to the doctor, but they could also occur because of a physician"s error. A patient who suffers negative outcomes because a doctor has failed to take reasonable measures to evaluate the symptoms might want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal recourse there may be.

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