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Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?

The following are the most common symptoms of breast cancer. Early breast cancer usually does not cause pain and may cause no symptoms at all. And, some breast cancers never cause symptoms or other signs of a problem until they have gotten quite large and are more likely to have spread.

These are changes that women and men should watch for:

  • A lump or thickening (a mass, swelling, skin irritation, or distortion) in or near the breast or in the underarm area

  • A change in the size or shape of the breast

  • A change in the color or feel of the skin of the breast, areola, or nipple (dimpled, puckered, red, swollen, or scaly)

  • Nipple discharge, erosion, inversion, or tenderness

A woman (or man) should see a doctor as soon as possible if any of these changes are noticed.

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Moloney Johns, Amanda, PA-C, MPAS, BBA
Date Last Reviewed: 9/28/2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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