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Symptoms of Breast Cancer

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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.​

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 Breast Cancer Screening

What Do You Know About Breast Cancer?

Test your knowledge of breast cancer by taking this quiz.

1. Finding breast cancer early is the key to successful treatment.
2. Older women are more likely to develop breast cancer.
3. Most breast lumps are cancerous.
4. It's OK to use deodorant on the day you have a mammogram.
5. Women who drink more than one alcoholic beverage a day increase their risk for breast cancer.
6. Women who have their first child before age 30 and breastfeed for longer than 6 months are less likely to develop breast cancer.
7. Smoking may increase your risk for breast cancer.
8. Breast cancer can be treated by surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
9. Starting at age 30, women should have a mammogram every 1 or 2 years.
10. A woman's chances of developing breast cancer are higher if her mother, a sister, or daughter had it.
11. It's safe for women to use hormone therapy for a prolonged time during menopause.
12. Regular exercise can reduce your risk for breast cancer.
13. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women.