Breast Cancer Symptoms

Breast Cancer Symptoms

Many cases of breast cancer are asymptomatic (have no clinical symptoms). Breast cancer symptoms are often subtle, and self discovery can be elusive. Due to the high incidence of breast cancer among older women, screening is now recommended in many countries. Screening methods suggested include breast self-examination and mammography. Only mammography has been proven to reduce mortality from breast cancer. In some countries routine (annual) mammography of older women is encouraged as a screening method to diagnose early breast cancer.

Common symptoms of breast cancer include:

A change in how the breast or nipple feels

A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area

Nipple tenderness

A change in how the breast or nipple looks

A change in the size or shape of the breast

A nipple turned inward into the breast

The skin of the breast, areola, or nipple may be scaly, red, or swollen. It may have ridges or pitting so that it looks like the skin of an orange.

Nipple discharge (fluid)

Early breast cancer usually does not cause pain. Still, a woman should see her health care provider about breast pain or any other symptom that does not go away. Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Other health problems may also cause them. Any woman with these symptoms should tell her doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

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