Breast cancer symptoms

Some people have no breast cancer symptoms and the cancer is found during a screening mammogram (a low-dose x-ray of the breast) or a physical examination by a doctor.

If you do have symptoms, they could include:

  • a lump, lumpiness or thickening, especially if it is in only one breast
  • changes in the size or shape of the breast
  • changes to the nipple, such as a change in shape, crusting, sores or ulcers, redness, a clear or bloody discharge, or a nipple that turns in (inverted) when it used to stick out
  • changes in the skin of the breast, such as dimpling or indentation, a rash, a scaly appearance, unusual redness or other colour changes
  • swelling or discomfort in the armpit
  • persistent, unusual pain that is not related to your normal monthly menstrual cycle, remains after your period and occurs in one breast only.

Most breast changes aren’t caused by cancer. However, if you have symptoms, see your doctor without delay.

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This information was last reviewed in July 2016
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