Knowledge remains one of the powerful weapons in the fight against breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, a heightened awareness of breast changes may result in detection of disease at an earlier stage, when it is most treatable. For many cancers, early detection can reduce mortality. So knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer could be a death-defying act. A person who notices any of the signs or symptoms of breast cancer should consult a physician immediately.
The following are the most common signs and symptoms of breast cancer. However, each individual may experience symptoms of breast cancer differently. Early breast cancer usually does not cause pain and may cause no signs or symptoms at all. And, some breast cancers never cause symptoms or other indications of a problem.
As breast cancer grows, however, it can cause changes that women and men should watch for, such as:
- lumps, hard knots or thickening
- dimpling or puckering of the skin
- changes to your nipple, such as redness, scaling or a nipple that turns inward
- nipple discharge that starts suddenly
- swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
- change in the size or shape of the breast
- itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
- new pain in one spot that doesn't go away