Breast cancer symptoms

In addition to pain or a lump in the breast, there are other breast cancer signs and symptoms to look for in a clinical or self-breast exam.

The earlier breast cancer is found and diagnosed, the better your chances of beating it. Start including a breast self-exam in your monthly health care routine, and if you’re over 40 or at a high risk of breast cancer, get an annual mammogram and physical exam by your doctor. If you experience breast changes at any time, see your doctor right away.

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer

Breast cancer symptoms vary widely, and some breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all—a lump may be too small for you to feel, or to cause any unusual changes you can notice on your own. That’s why regular checkups and mammograms are so important.

Usually the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast that you or your doctor can feel. A lump that is painless, hard and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer, but cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded.

According to the American Cancer Society, any of the following unusual changes in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer:

  • Breast pain, usually present in the case of inflammatory breast cancer.
  • Lump in the underarm area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk.
  • Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward.
  • Redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin.
  • Skin irritation or dimpling.
  • Swelling of all or part of the breast.

If you notice any of these, come see us for an exam right away.