Dedicated to all women in light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October.
Women have, at one time or another, had nipple issues. Maybe its discharge, with clear, milky, dark, or even bloody fluid leaking from the nipples. Or perhaps a slight sensitivity to a burning soreness. And sometimes it’s a rash, what looks like an infection, or even an inversion, when your nipple decides to retreat into your breast.
However, it is essential to be in tune with your breasts and body generally as a woman so that you can detect when something is feeling out of place before it blows out of proportion. Here are some of the things to look out for in ensuring a healthy breast via nipple sensitivity:
Nipple discharge: While this is seldom a sign of breast cancer, other underlying problem causing this may be hormonal imbalance or an infection. Either way, you should see a doctor to confirm and clear you of imminent danger.
Sore/Itchy nipples: When both nipples are sore, it’s almost certainly nothing to do with breast cancer. In fact, any time you’re experiencing an issue with both of your breasts at once – pain, soreness, lumps – it would be very unusual for breast cancer to be the cause. Breast cancer symptoms almost always appear in just one breast at a time. The nipples are one of the most sensitive parts of the woman’s body. They are easily irritated. Sore nipples can be caused by something as simple as a change in your body wash or laundry detergent. It’s also a classic sign of early pregnancy – and also of the approach of your period. Sore nipples may be due to a hormonal imbalance. Cold compresses sometimes help but if it persists more than a few weeks, please have your doctor confirm you off trouble.
Change in appearance: What if one nipple suddenly seems darker than the other? This happens when your period is looming. Wait and see if the change disappears over the course of your cycle. If it lasts longer than a month or so, ask your doctor about it. And what if your nipple suddenly becomes inverted – it pulls in, instead of sticking out? While this can be a bona-fide breast cancer symptom, you also need to be in tune with your body like I mentioned earlier and know what is changing when it starts changing. I know someone who, from the time she started growing breasts her nipples have been inverted. Obviously, you don’t want to scare such a person now to have cancer threats. When there are sudden changes, however, you should see a doctor sooner rather than later.
Rash: You may notice what seems like eczema or another skin condition on your nipple. This may sometimes extend to the areola. You may notice oozing, flaking or scaling skin, or redness; you may experience pain, burning, or itching. You might simply be experiencing a more severe irritation due to any of the above causes for itchy or sore nipples.
Give whatever’s bothering your nipple a few weeks to resolve itself. But if it doesn’t, call the doctor. It’s important to rule out cancer.
Be aware. Stay healthy. Safe breast cancer free.