Skin cancer on breasts is a more rare location, as most skin cancers develop on areas of the body that see frequent sun exposure. It’s also quite uncommon for breast cancer lesions on skin to appear, as there are many differences between skin cancer vs. breast cancer. Still, staying aware of any changes to your skin throughout the entire body is always recommended for optimal skin health.
Skin Cancer vs. Breast Cancer
Skin cancer on breasts is possible, but that does not automatically mean the patient has breast cancer. There are many factors that separate skin cancer vs. breast cancer. Skin cancer develops in the topmost layers of the epidermis, caused by abnormal skin cell production. This is often triggered by excessive environmental stimuli that the skin tries to counteract; overexposure to sunlight is the most common culprit of skin cancer. While the three types of skin cancer often start near the surface of the skin, they can penetrate deeper if left undetected, potentially spreading to surrounding tissue.
Breast cancer, on the other hand, always starts with tumors growing deep in the breast tissue. Hormonal and genetic factors contribute to breast cancer development, though the exact cause is unknown. While the most common early symptom of breast cancer is finding a hard lump in the breast, breast cancer can potentially have some effects on the surrounding skin, including:
- Dimpling of the breast skin
- Peeling or crusting around the areola or nipple
- Redness of the breast skin
While none of these symptoms constitute a breast cancer lesion on skin, it’s important to note that any significant changes to your skin should be treated with caution. Drastic physical changes can signal internal issues, and should be addressed by a physician as soon as possible.
Melanoma Skin Cancer on Breast
While finding melanoma skin cancer on the breast is more rare, it is not impossible. Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, and is the more deadly of the three types of skin cancer, mainly because it is more likely to spread to surrounding areas.
Melanoma begins as a mole-like spot that over time begins to change in color, shape, or size. Should you find a mole on your breast, make note of its current appearance and watch for any major developments. Scheduling an annual skin cancer screening is a smart way to stay ahead of any issues, as your dermatologist will keep track of any changes to your breast skin.
Non-Invasive Treatment for Non-melanoma Skin Cancer
IG-SRT, or Image Guided Superficial Radiotherapy is a surgery-free treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer. Discover how it works or call our Skin Cancer Information Specialist team at 855-936-4411 to learn more.