Symptoms of breast cancer

The most widespread symptom of breast cancer is finding a lump in the breast, although this is not abnormal and fortunately 9 out of 10 lumps are benign, meaning not cancerous. Therefore it is important to have it checked to establish which kind of lump it is.


The most common kinds of breast lumps are not cancerous. The breast tissue can change and feel more lumpy right before a period for instance, but it is totally harmless. Also little cysts containing fluid can form in the breast tissue. These are the most common form of lumps and feel similar to breast cancer lumps. The last kind of lump is called fibroadenoma and is a collection of fibrous glandular tissue. Even though 9 out of 10 lumps are non-cancerous you should still go to your doctor as soon as you find a lump.

How does breast cancer feel?

The most common symptoms of breast cancer are ;
- A lump in the breast area
- A change in size or shape of a breast
- Dimpling of the skin
- Changes in the shape of the nipple, especially if it starts turning inwards or sinks into the breast
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
- A rash on or around the nipple
- Swelling or lump in the armpit

The signs don't necessarily mean that you have breast cancer. There could be many other reasons for the symptoms and you should go to your PCP and have it checked.

There are ways that you can help yourself so that you can find out if you have a lump and potentially detect breast cancer early on. Self-examination is the best way of learning how your breast should feel and if there are any changes to it.

Last updated: 4/5/19

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Author: Carenity Editorial Team, Editorial Team

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