Warning: This change in your breasts could signal cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women except for skin cancer, no matter race or ethnicity.
More than 200,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There can be many symptoms for breast cancer and unfortunately, one of those tends to be overlooked by females: when the breast starts to dimple or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange.
“Dimpling of the breast is puckering or retraction of the skin of the breast, commonly occurring on the bottom of the breast,” says Dr. Nila Alsheik, diagnostic radiologist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “Dimpling may cause the skin to look like pitting or uneven. Sometimes, the skin can also be red and inflamed. This is a common symptom of breast cancer,” she says.
But this symptom can also be caused by other illnesses.
“The causes of breast dimpling can also include infection, trauma, fat necrosis or duct obstruction,” she says. “In most cases, a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound will be necessary to determine the cause of this symptom.”
The National Breast Cancer Foundation recommends a self-breast exam once every month. These exams help bring awareness to what your breast feels and looks like so you are then able to identify any changes you may come across.
If you notice your breast dimpling, you should reach out to your physician immediately. Since dimpling can be a sign of breast cancer, it is important to get tested.
“If this symptom is related to breast cancer, survival greatly improves if the cancer is diagnosed and treated early in the disease process,” says Dr. Alsheik.
Our Breast Health Assessment estimates your five-year and lifetime risks of developing breast cancer.
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About the Author
Elizabeth Quinzio, health enews contributor, is an intern of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. She is a senior at Elmhurst College, pursuing a degree in communication studies. When she isn’t interning, Elizabeth enjoys writing about her personal experiences and watching YouTube makeup tutorials. She also loves to take her dog, Gracie, for walks around the neighborhood.