Menopause changes women’s physical and mental health in several ways. Due to the seeping hormonal changes during menopause, the body reacts differently to common health conditions. Studies have discovered a strong connection between weight gain during menopause and the risk of developing breast cancer. It is critical to be aware of the symptoms of breast cancer in menopausal women to facilitate early diagnosis and timely treatment of the condition.
Lumps in areas around the armpits and breasts are the most common indicators of breast cancer. These lumps occur due to the growth of tumorous tissues. They may be big enough to be felt in some cases, while sometimes they can only be identified during a mammogram. This is why women belonging to the high-risk category of breast cancer are recommended periodic mammograms in their menopausal period.
2. Painful lumps
Sometimes, the lumps are benign and painless, which is when they are often missed until they grow enough to appear in a mammogram. In some cases, the lumps in the breast or armpits are painful. They are sore to touch, or they may be tender and less painful at times.
3. Changes in the appearance of the breast
Unless one has lost a significant amount of weight, there should be no change in the size and shape of the breasts. The occurrence of these sudden, inexplicable changes could indicate breast cancer. Sometimes, the appearance may not be affected as much, but the temperature changes.
4. Changes in the nipple appearance
Drooping or sagging breasts are a part of the change that most women experience as they get older. However, a significant change in the appearance of the nipples could be one of the symptoms of breast cancer in menopausal women. This change could manifest in the form of dimpled nipples or even nipples drawn inward. Some women also experience pain or itchiness.
Nipple discharge is not a common factor in women going through menopause, but it could occur as a telltale sign of breast cancer. It is a pale-colored or white-colored discharge, or it may be a bloody discharge that is brown in color. The different types of breast cancers cause the color to change during discharge, and a common reason why this occurs is because of tumorous growth in the milk ducts. It can be observed at an early stage of cancer growth, and one should seek immediate medical attention if they come across this anomaly. Early detection increases the chances of the disease being treated effectively.
Menopausal women should watch out for these symptoms of breast cancer to mitigate the risk and treat the condition on time. From losing weight to following a healthy lifestyle, there are multiple ways to address each of these symptoms, and a medical professional can guide patients on the right path to recovery.