In many cases, there are no outward signs of breast cancer.
If there are outward signs and symptoms of breast cancer, the most common include any of the following:
• An abnormal lump in or near the breast or under the armpit
• A change in the breast’s size (i.e., swelling) and/or shape
• Changes in color (i.e., appearance of redness or rash) or texture of breast
• Changes in color or texture of nipple or aerola (pigmented area around nipple)
• Dimpling of the breast or scaly, puckered skin on the breast
• Abnormal discharge (fluid or blood) from the nipple
Other possible signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
• A nipple that has changed position
• An inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
A woman who experiences any of the signs and symptoms in either of the two lists above should see her doctor as soon as possible. Most of the time, such changes may result from conditions other than breast cancer, but it is always best to determine the cause. Before you are evaluated by your doctor, never assume there is nothing to worry about, and never assume that the lump, rash, or other symptom will just clear up on its own.
Keep in mind that breast cancer is most easily treated when it is detected in the early stages, so it is important that your doctor rule out any possibility of breast cancer as soon as you detect or notice any abnormal changes.