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What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Image of clinical signs of cancer
(Click for larger image) Skin dimpling may be a sign of breast cancer.

 

Breast cancer often causes no symptoms in its early stages. Women with early breast cancer usually do not feel pain or notice any symptoms at all. Screening tests are better able to detect the disease at this time. As the cancer grows, however, it can cause the following changes:

  • A lump or thickening in or near your breast or under your arm

  • A change in the size or shape of your breast

  • Nipple discharge, especially if it's bloody  

  • Nipple inversion, meaning the nipple pulls back into your breast

  • Nipple or breast pain

  • A change in the way the skin of your breast, areola, or nipple looks or feels. For example, the skin may look like the skin of an orange, or be dimpled or puckered.

These symptoms may be caused by breast cancer or by other, less serious conditions. It’s important to check with a doctor to be sure.