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Early Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Early Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Most patients perceive a lump or thickening in their breast as an early symptom of breast cancer.

Observe the following breast symptoms:

  • a sudden lump or enlargement in your breast or armpit.
  • a change in your breast's size, shape, or feel.
  • Puckering, dimpling, a rash, or redness of the skin in the breasts are all signs of skin changes.
  • a lady who isn't pregnant or breastfeeding has fluid pouring from her nipple.
  • changes in the nipple's location.

Also Read: Breast Cancer Diagnosis


For many women, a lump in their breast is the first sign of breast cancer. The majority of breast lumps are not cancerous (benign).

The following are the most common benign breast lumps:

  • usual lumpiness that becomes more noticeable right before a period.
  • Cysts are fluid-filled sacs in the breast tissue that are extremely frequent.
  • A fibroadenoma is a mass of fibrous glandular tissue which are common in younger women under the age of 30.

It is critical to have a breast lump evaluated by a doctor at all times. They will arrange for tests to determine whether or not your lump is malignant.

Breast Cancer Symptoms


The lymph glands in your body are normally unseen. When you get an infection or a cold, they swell up, including the lymph nodes in your armpit.

Breast cancer that has progressed to the armpit is a less common cause of swollen lymph nodes or a lump in the armpit.


Your breast may appear larger or have a different shape than usual as a result of cancer, and it may also feel different.

Just before their menstruation, many healthy women notice that their breasts are lumpy and sore.

Being aware of your breasts might be beneficial. This entails learning to know your breasts' size, shape, and feel.


Puckering, dimpling, a rash, or redness of the breast skin are all signs of skin changes. A rash or redness of the nipple and surrounding skin affects certain persons.

The skin could resemble orange peel or have a different texture. Other breast conditions may be to blame. But make an appointment with your doctor to rule out anything that is out of the ordinary for you.


Fluid seeping from a woman's nipple who isn't pregnant or breastfeeding could be a symptom of malignancy. Other medical issues, however, can also contribute to this.


One nipple may sink into the breast or turn in. It may appear or feel different from what you're used to.

If you detect anything strange or unexpected with one or both nipples, consult your doctor.

Also Read: Her2 Positive Breast Cancer


Breast pain is fairly frequent, and it's usually not caused by cancer. For a short while, you may experience soreness in one or both breasts, but this will pass. Even if you have several tests, there may be no evident reason for your pain.

If you're experiencing breast pain, make an appointment with your doctor. They can advise you on how to handle the discomfort and whether or not tests are required.

Breast Cancer Symptoms


Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon kind of breast cancer with symptoms that differ from other types.

Your entire breast may be red, inflamed, and painful. It's possible that the breasts will feel rigid and the skin will resemble orange peel.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor.


This is a rare skin disease that can indicate the presence of breast cancer. A red, scaly rash on the nipple and surrounding area is one of the symptoms. This condition can be itchy and resembles eczema. Initially, it's often mistaken for eczema.

If you see any alterations in your breast, consult your doctor.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

Non-invasive breast cancer symptoms

Non-invasive breast cancer is commonly referred to as stage 0 cancer. It's a very early stage of breast cancer, so the tumour is usually rather small. Non-invasive breast cancer is unlikely to cause obvious physical symptoms because the major symptom of breast cancer is an atypical lump in the breast, and non-invasive breast cancer usually arrives with a tumour that is so small that it can only be detected by mammography.

Metastatic breast cancer symptoms

The indications of metastatic breast cancer vary depending on where the cancer has spread and at what stage it has progressed. Metastatic illness might manifest itself without causing any symptoms. Pain, nipple discharge, or a lump or swelling in the breast or underarm may be signed if the breast or chest wall is afflicted. Due to elevated calcium levels, symptoms such as discomfort, fractures, constipation, and decreased alertness may occur if the bones are impacted. Shortness of breath or breathing difficulty, coughing, chest wall pain, or severe fatigue are some of the symptoms that can occur when tumours originate in the lungs.

Nausea, excessive weariness, increased abdominal circumference, swelling of the feet and hands caused by the fluid collection, and yellowing or itchy skin are all indicators of a liver problem. Pain, disorientation, memory loss, headache, blurry or double vision, problems with speech, trouble with movement, or seizure may occur if breast cancer travels to the brain or spinal cord and forms tumours.

Symptoms of angiosarcoma of the breast

Angiosarcoma is a rare type of breast cancer that develops inside the lymphatic and blood arteries. This form of cancer can only be diagnosed with certainty by a biopsy. Angiosarcoma can lead to changes to your breast skin, like the formation of purple-coloured nodules that seem like bruises. If bumped or scraped, these nodules may start bleeding. These discoloured patches may get larger over time, causing your skin to appear bloated in that location. Breast lumps may or may not be present if you have angiosarcoma. Angiosarcoma may develop in the affected arm if you also develop lymphedema, which is swelling produced by a buildup of lymphatic fluid. Lymphoma can develop as a result of cancer treatment that destroys lymph vessels.

Papillary carcinoma symptoms

Even if papillary carcinoma isn't present, normal mammography can detect its progression. The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms associated with this form of cancer:

Papillary carcinoma is most commonly detected as a 2 cm to 3 cm cyst or lump that may be sensed with the hand throughout a breast self-examination.

Papillary carcinomas that form beneath the nipple account for almost half of all papillary carcinomas, culminating in bloody nipple discharge.

Phyllodes tumour symptoms

According to the American Cancer Society, the majority of phyllodes tumours are benign, but one in every four is malignant. Breast connective tissue cancer is an uncommon kind of cancer that affects the connective tissues of the breast. The majority of patients don't have any pain, but they may lump. Phyllodes tumours can grow quickly, although they usually do not spread to other parts of the body. These tumours must be surgically removed since they can develop quickly and strain the skin. If a tumour is cancerous, your doctor may prescribe a mastectomy to keep it from returning, particularly if the tumour wasn't removed entirely during the initial operation.

Also Read: Breast Cancer Side Effects After Treatment

Men and breast cancer warning signs

Breast cancer isn't usually linked to those who were born with a male gender assignment. Male breast cancer, on the other hand, can strike at any age, though it is more prevalent in elderly males.

Many people are unaware that persons who are born male have breast tissue as well and that these cells can develop malignant alterations. Breast cancer is less common in men than in women because male breast cells are less established than female breast cells.

A lump in the breast tissue is the most prevalent symptom of breast cancer in people who were born male.

Symptoms of male breast cancer, aside from a lump, include:

  • Breast tissue thickening is a condition in which the breast tissue thickens.
  • discharge from nipple
  • scaling or redness of the nipple
  • a retracting or turning inward nipple
  • on the breast, inexplicable redness, swelling, skin irritation, itching, or rash

Because most guys don't check their breast tissue for lumps regularly, male breast cancer is generally detected much later.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

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  1. Koo MM, von Wagner C, Abel GA, McPhail S, Rubin GP, Lyratzopoulos G. Typical and atypical presenting symptoms of breast cancer and their associations with diagnostic intervals: Evidence from a national audit of cancer diagnosis. Cancer Epidemiol. 2017 Jun;48:140-146. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2017.04.010. Epub 2017 May 23. PMID: 28549339; PMCID: PMC5482318.
  2. Prusty RK, Begum S, Patil A, Naik DD, Pimple S, Mishra G. Knowledge of symptoms and risk factors of breast cancer among women: a community-based study in a low socio-economic area of Mumbai, India. BMC Womens Health. 2020 May 18;20(1):106. doi: 10.1186/s12905-020-00967-x. PMID: 32423488; PMCID: PMC7236367.
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