Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer


Did you know that in many cases, breast cancer does not show up as a lump?

There are several other major warning signs of breast cancer other than a lump. But many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all. When there are no symptoms, breast cancer can be found through a screening mammogram. The most important thing is to bring any unusual signs to your doctor's attention, and to talk to your doctor about a breast screening plan that is appropriate for you.

Symptoms of breast cancer may include:

  • Breast lumps
  • Swelling under your arm
  • Pain in your breast or nipple
  • New dimples in the skin on your breast
  • The skin on your breast becoming swollen, red, or hot
  • Sudden changes in your breast size
  • Changes in shape in only one of your breasts
  • Having your nipple newly turn inward (invert)
  • Non-milky liquid coming from your nipple

Having any of these symptoms does not mean you have breast cancer. Talk to your doctor.

Have a Specific Question About Breast Cancer Signs?

You may wish to ask, "What were your breast cancer symptoms?" or "What should I do if I think I have a breast tumor?"

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A note about breast lumps and pain:

Many people still worry that lumps or pain in their breast are definite signs of breast cancer. If you are experiencing unusual breast tenderness, sharp pain in your breast, a burning sensation, painful lumps, or any other symptom, this does not mean you definitely have breast cancer. Diagnosing breast cancer is a process, and the symptoms of a breast tumor can vary from person to person. If you are worried that your pain is a sign of breast cancer, or if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor about appropriate next steps

Written by: Dr. Deborah Axelrod, NYU Langone. Last Updated: December 17, 2018 by Melissa Sakow.

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Signs and Symptoms