Possible breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit. You might feel the lump, but not see it
- Change in the size or shape of the breast
- A change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling of the skin
- A change in the colour of the breast, such as redness
- Rash, crusting or changes to the nipple
- Any unusual discharge from either nipple
Noticing an unusual change like these doesn’t necessarily mean you have breast cancer.
However it is important to get checked out if you notice a change in the look or feel of your breasts, especially if you are worried.
When to see your GP
People often worry about wasting their doctor’s time. Do not be afraid of this.
If you have any concerns about your breasts then you should get checked out.
See your GP as soon as possible if you’ve noticed any of the symptoms above.
Your doctor will examine you. If they think your symptoms need further assessment, they’ll refer you to a specialist breast cancer clinic.
For more information about diagnosis and what happens at a specialist breast cancer clinic please visit the NHS website or find out more from Coppafeel or Breast Cancer Now.
While your symptoms may not be cancer, it is important to get them checked by a doctor. Men risk getting breast cancer too, so if you are male and are worried or notice any changes then you should also see your doctor.
Around 1 in 7 women and 1 in 800 men are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There’s a good chance of recovery if it is detected at an early stage.
Should I be worried about breast pain?
Pain in your breasts can be normal, especially around the time of your period, and is not usually a sign of breast cancer unless you have other symptoms too. However, if you have pain that doesn’t go away, that is getting worse, or that is there all, or almost all, of the time, speak to your Doctor.
You can read more about breast pain below.
What happens if I do get diagnosed with breast cancer?
You might be diagnosed with breast cancer after visiting a specialist breast cancer clinic.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer and going through the treatment you need can be a very stressful, anxious and uncertain time.
Breast Cancer Haven can support you, and also the people close to you, at this time.