Breast cancer, particularly in the early stages, may have no obvious symptoms.
Symptoms such as swelling of the breast, lumps or skin changes may signal you that something is wrong.
However, some non-cancer conditions such as infections or cysts can have the same symptoms. This is why it is important to do self-exams and have regular screenings by your doctor.
According to the American Cancer Society, any of the following unusual changes in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer:
- Swelling of all or part of the breast
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast pain
- Nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
- Redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- A nipple discharge other than breast milk
- A lump in the underarm area
A lump in the breast you can feel or your doctor finds during an exam may be the first noticeable sign of cancer. Many times the lump feels hard but painless. Other breast cancers may present as tender and soft.
Any change in how your breast feels or looks should prompt a visit to your doctor.