Breast Cancer Signs & Symptoms
The most powerful weapon against breast cancer is early detection. Knowing and checking for the signs and symptoms can make all the difference.
Know the Warning Signs
The most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer are:
- Lumps or thickening in the breast (or underarm area) that feel different from the tissue around it
- Changes in the size and/or shape of the breast, including unusual swelling
- Persistent breast pain, not associated with a menstrual cycle
- Nipple pain or an inverted nipple (nipple turned inward)
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling or thickening
- Rashes, skin irritation, flaking, peeling, or scaling of the nipple or skin over the breast
- Any discharge from the nipple, other than breast milk
- If you are a male, ANY lump in the chest/breast plate area
Have a Breast Health Routine
All women should be aware and monitor themselves for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, regularly conducting self-breast exams. Women over the age of 45 and those with one or more known risk factors should be especially diligent in monitoring breast health, discussing the best screening options and routines with their physicians.
When to See a Doctor
While noticing changes in your breast can be stressful, keep in mind that the majority of breast changes do not turn out to be cancer. Still, it is important to make an appointment with your physician if you recognize any of the signs or symptoms—even if you have just had a screening with normal results.