Breast Cancer Symptoms & Signs
Early symptoms and signs of breast cancerare typically not recognizable; this is why screening mammography is valuable to detect cancers at a very early stage. Even larger breast cancers do not always produce symptoms and signs. When symptoms do occur, the most common symptom is
- a lump or mass in the breast or underarm area.
Other possible symptoms include
- nipple discharge or redness,
- changes in the breast skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like an orange skin), and
- swelling of part of the breast.
Certain types of cancers known as inflammatory breast cancers may produce redness and warmth of the affected breast, but these are not common signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Breast pain is also not a typical symptom, but breast or nipple pain may occur in certain cases.
- Breast Lump or Mass
- Breast Pain
- Breast Swelling
- Change in Breast Size or Shape
- Dimpling or Puckering of the Breast Skin
- Bloody Nipple Discharge
- Lump in the Underarm Area
- Nipple Pain
- Nipple Inversion
- Recent Breast Asymmetry
- Redness of the Breast Skin
- Thickening of the Breast Skin
Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast tissue is large enough to be felt. Swollen lymph nodes should also be checked by a health care provider.
Although any of these symptoms can be caused by things other than breast cancer, if you have them, they should be reported to a health care provider so that he or she can find the cause.
Because mammograms do not find every breast cancer, it is important for you to be aware of changes in your breasts and to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.