CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There is so much focus on bringing awareness to early detection of breast cancer, but some women still don't realize that the first signs of trouble don't always start with finding a lump.
Dr. Lori Gentile who is a breast surgeon with Novant Health said breast cancer can appear as swelling around your collarbone or armpit.
She says it can simply be a feeling that your breast is warm or itchy. Sometimes the skin can dimple and look similar to an orange peel.
If you notice any changes at all, you should call your doctor.
The good news is there are new approaches to finding and removing small breast cancers - those not detectable by physical exam.
It used to be uncomfortable wires were used before surgery to find the mass, but now radar is proving to be effective to help find and remove the mass.
"Many women have found it to be a much more comfortable procedure. It facilitates planning and scheduling of surgeries and is much more convenient for patients," Dr. Gentile said. "And we also have lower rates of having positive margins and having more precise incisions allowing us to remove less breast tissue than we have previously."
Dr. Gentile says another thing women should really be paying attention to is their body weight. The risk of developing breast cancer increases in overweight and obese women.