Should I be worried about breast pain?

Pain in your breasts is not normally a sign of breast cancer, but it can be if it is associated with other symptoms. While most pain is not a symptom, it’s important to look out for any pain that is unusual and persists over a period of time.

Common 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.
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breast
  • A change in skin texture i.e. puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • A change in the colour of the breast - the breast may look red or inflamed
  • Rash, crusting or changes to the nipple
  • Any unusual discharge from either nipple

Noticing an unusual change like these doesn’t necessarily mean you will get breast cancer, but it’s important to get checked out if you are worried.

You should see your doctor if you have:

  • a change in the size, shape or feel of a breast
  • a new lump or thickening in a breast or armpit
  • skin changes such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
  • fluid leaking from a nipple and you aren't pregnant or breastfeeding
  • changes in the position of a nipple
  • breast pain

While your symptoms may not be cancer, it is important to get them checked by a doctor. Men can get breast cancer too, so if you are male and are worried at all then you should also see your doctor.

Around 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There's a good chance of recovery if it's detected at an early stage.

Do I need to see my GP about my symptoms?

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 
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.

You can read more about what we offer and how we can support you here - Get support