Usual signs of breast cancer include a painless lump or mass, bulging of skin, dimpling, puckering, nipple retraction, change in skin colour and discharge. Having one or more of these signs and symptoms is not a sure shot sign of breast cancer, however, consulting a specialist is recommended.
Though the definite cause of breast cancer is still not clear, many factors increase the risk. These factors include increasing age, alcohol, late pregnancy, early menstruation, late menopause, and family history, use of oral contraceptives and history of radiation therapy. Read more about Risk Factors of Breat cancer
Doctors recommend performing the breast self-exam(BSE) monthly. Dimpling, palpable lump, puckering, discharge from the nipples, inversion of the nipple, scaliness of the nipple/areola area and breast skin should be looked for while examining the breasts. If any of these changes in the breasts are noticed, contacting a specialist is advised.
There has been a lot of discussion around the connection between bra (especially padded) and breast cancer. However, there are still no studies or surveys that prove wearing a padded bra can cause cancer.
Compression of the breasts during mammography can cause slight discomfort. Doctors always advise the patients to schedule the test a week after the periods, so that the breasts are less tender and hurt less. To prevent discomfort, the doctor may even advise a painkiller approximately 45-60 minutes before the test is conducted.