Breast Cancer: Symptoms

By Spader, Catherine RN

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

The hallmark symptom of breast cancer is a breast lump, but many women do not detect a lump or experience symptoms in early stages of breast cancer.

A breast lump that is malignant is generally not painful, but pain can occur in some cases. There are a variety of causes of breast lumps, such as fibrocystic breasts or breast cysts. However, any breast lump should be quickly evaluated medically because of the risk of breast cancer.

A malignant breast lump can occur by itself, or there may be other symptoms as well. Symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Breast deformity or misshapen breast

  • Breast lump

  • Breast pain

  • Change in the look and feel of the skin of the breast, such as dimpling or puckering

  • Change in the size, shape or appearance of the breast

  • New onset of inverted nipple

  • Nipple discharge or tenderness

  • Rash or sore on the breast or nipple

  • Swelling of one arm

  • Weight loss


What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the breast. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women after skin cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Source: CDC). Read more about breast cancerintroduction


What causes breast cancer?

The underlying cause of breast cancer is currently not known. However, it is believed that some cases of breast cancer are genetic and may be linked to certain defects of genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Normally, cells in the breast that are old or damaged will stop reproducing and die. These cells are replaced by healthy young cells. Read more about breast cancercauses


How is breast cancer treated?

Treatment of breast cancer begins with seeking regular medical care throughout your life. Regular medical care allows a health care professional to best evaluate your risks of developing breast cancer, perform breast exams, recommend screening mammography, and promptly order diagnostic testing for such symptoms as a breast lump or changes in the breast. These measures greatly increase your chan... Read more about breast cancertreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

More Information on Cancer

This Article is Filed Under: Cancer, Breast Cancer