Thousands of women are diagnosed with chest cancer each year. For women, only lung cancer has a higher death rate than chest cancer. While this type of cancer can be deadly, there are warning signs that can help you catch it early.

It isn’t exactly known why chest cancer develops, but there are some factors that seem to increase your chances of developing chest cancer. Your age (and gender) increase your risk; While men can be diagnosed with chest cancer, it is one hundred times more common in women. The highest rate of invasive chest cancer is found in women 55 and older.

There also seems to be a higher risk if your close blood relatives had or have chest cancer. Also, the risk of chest cancer increases with higher amounts of alcohol use and obesity after menopause.

Knowing the risks and the symptoms of chest cancer can significantly increase your chances of catching the illness early. Luckily, there are some things you can look for. While finding a lump in your chest is a common symptom, there are others signs to look for.

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:

1. chest sizes. If the size of one chest enlarges significantly in a short amount of time, this could be a warning sign of chest cancer. br**sts are normally different sizes, but noticing a drastic increase in size or an abnormal change in shape could be something to be concerned about.

2. Swelling. Even if there is no lump present, swelling on your chest (even in a small area) is not a good sign. Swelling can also accompany fever-like symptoms; if this is the case, your br**sts will feel warm, may become inflamed, become red or purple and will swell. Immediately inform your doctor if you experience these symptoms.

3. Abnormal bosoms. Other than chest milk, any other discharge is not normal. Decreased bosom sensitivity is also something to be aware of. Additionally, if your bosom retracts (pulls inward,) or is discolored, be sure to call your doctor.