Breast Cancer: Symptoms

A simple self-exam helps patients to keep track of any changes in the breast. Among the things to look for—though not necessarily signs of cancer—are:
• Nipple tenderness
• Any nipple discharge
• A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
• A lump in the breast (not all lumps are cancerous but should be evaluated by a physician)
• An unusual change in the size or shape of the breast
• An usual swelling of the breast (especially if on one side only)
• Shrinkage of the breast (especially if on one side only)
• A new asymmetry of the breasts
• A nipple that has turned slightly inward or become inverted
• Scaly, red or swollen skin on the breast, areola, or nipple
• Ridges, dimpling or pitting in the breast, resembling the skin of an orange