11 Early Signs of Breast Cancer You Should Never Ignore

Breast cancer is not just a woman’s disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that 1600 men develop the disease yearly and about 400 may die from the disease.

Breast cancer risk is higher among those who have a mother, aunt, sister, or grandmother who had breast cancer before age 50. If only a mother or sister had breast cancer, your risk doubles. Having two first-degree relatives who were diagnosed increases your risk up to five times the average.

Although it is not known exactly what causes breast cancer; sometimes the culprit is a hereditary mutation in one of two genes, called BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes normally protect against the disease by producing proteins that guard against abnormal cell growth, but for women with the mutation, the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer can increase up to 80 percent, compared with 13 percent among the general population. In effect, more than 25 percent of women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease.

For women without a family history of breast cancer, the risks are harder to identify. It is known that the hormone estrogen feeds many breast cancers, and several factors – diet, excess weight, and alcohol consumption – can raise the body’s estrogen levels.

Here are the 10 early signs of breast cancer you should NOT ignore. Pay special attention to the last one, since it can easily be misinterpreted.
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