Breast Cancer Symptoms and Signs

Breast Cancer Symptoms and Signs
The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast. In addition, the following are possible signs of breast cancer:
  • Nipple discharge or redness
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • Swelling of part of the breast or dimpling
It is best to detect breast cancer before any of these signs occur by following screening mammography guidelines. You should discuss these or any other findings that concern you with your health care professional.

The Different Types of Breast Cancer
What is Breast Cancer?

More women are now being diagnosed by means of a routine mammogram. Any lump in the breast and any mammogram abnormality must be studied very carefully. Other signs might include:
  • Changes in breast size or shape
  • Crusting or scaling on the nipple
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin-thickening and dimpling skin is sometimes called orange peel
  • Inverted nipple
  • Lump or swelling in the armpit
  • Peeling, scaling or flaking of the nipple or breast skin
  • Redness, swelling and increased warmth in the affected breast
Often, these symptoms are not caused by cancer. Other health problems can cause them. Testing is necessary to make a diagnosis.

When to see a doctor
Early diagnosis is especially important for breast cancer because the disease responds best to treatment before it has spread. The earlier breast cancer is found and treated, the better a woman's chance for complete recovery.

Although the majority of breast changes don't turn out to be cancer, make an appointment to see your doctor if you find a lump or other change in your breast. Even if you've just had a mammogram with normal results, it's still important to have your doctor evaluate any changes.