What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?


Quick Answer

Breast cancer symptoms include changes in the feel and appearance of the breasts or nipples and clear or bloody discharge, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. While abnormalities should be immediately examined by a healthcare professional, signs and symptoms do not necessarily indicate the presence of cancer.

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Full Answer

Changes in texture include tenderness in the nipple or a lump or thickening in or around the breast and underarm area, skin texture similar to that of an orange peel, an enlargement of the pores in the skin of the breast and lumps on the breast, explains the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Changes in appearance include dimpling on the breasts, skin that becomes red, scaly or swollen and nipples that turn slightly inward or inverted. Unexplained changes in size and shape may also occur, including swelling or shrinkage present only in one side and recent asymmetry of the breasts, cites the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Clear or bloody discharge from the nipples may also be an indication; women not currently breastfeeding that exhibit a milky discharge should also be examined, though this is likely not directed linked to cancer, states the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Because early diagnosis is critical, women are encouraged to perform monthly self exams and schedule regular screenings with their physician.

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