The first symptom of breast cancer that most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast.
Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by a doctor.
You should see a GP if you notice any of the following:
- a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- a discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
- a rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.
It's important to be breast aware so you notice 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 easier to notice potential problems.
Page last reviewed: 28 October 2019
Next review due: 28 October 2022