Breast Cancer Symptoms
Initially, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. A lump may be too small for you to feel or may not cause any unusual changes you can notice on your own.
It is important to detect breast cancer symptoms early. Regular mammogram screenings can find changes in the breast tissue before they become large enough to be felt.
According to the American Cancer Society, any of the following can be symptoms of breast cancer:
- swelling of all or part of the breast
- skin irritation or dimpling
- nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
- redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- nipple discharge other than breast milk
- a lump or swelling in the underarm area
Pain in the breast is not usually a symptom of breast cancer; however some non-cancerous breast lumps can be painful.
Most breast lumps are benign (not cancerous) and are often cysts or Fibroadenomas (solid tumours of fibrous and glandular tissue) that can be easily treated.
A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. But sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. An assessment will rule out the possibility of cancer.
It is important that you are seen by a doctor who knows what signs to look for and who can organise and interpret the correct tests.
Most of the time, all of these tests can be done on the same visit, although you will have to wait a few days for your biopsy results.