Symptoms of breast cancer 

The first symptom of breast cancer most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast.

Most breast lumps (90%) aren't cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by your doctor.

You should see your GP if you notice any of the following:

  • a lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • discharge from either of your nipples (which may be streaked with blood)
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Breast pain isn't usually a symptom of breast cancer.

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Breast awareness

It's important to be breast aware, so you can pick up any changes as soon as possible. Get to know what is normal for you. For instance, your breasts may look or feel different at different times of your life. This will make it much easier to spot potential problems.

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Breast cancer: Symptoms, screening and treatment

Breast surgeon Mr Clive Griffith talks about breast cancer, including symptoms to look out for, screening and treatment.

Media last reviewed: 14/11/2013

Next review due: 14/11/2015

Page last reviewed: 19/08/2014

Next review due: 19/08/2016