Cancer Council Australia

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Breast cancer symptoms



All women should be familiar with how their breasts look and feel. Check with your doctor if you notice any changes in your breasts.

Symptoms of breast cancer will depend on where a tumour is, how big it is and how quickly it is growing. Some people will have no symptoms and breast cancer will be detected during a mammogram.

The main symptoms of breast cancer are:

  • breast lump is often the first symptom of breast cancer. Most lumps are benign (not cancerous)
  • changes in size or shape of breast – get to know the size, shape and feel of your breasts
  • changes to the skin including dimpling, a rash or puckering of the breast
  • changes to a nipple such as turning in or just feeling different to usual
  • nipple discharge in a woman who is not pregnant or breast feeding
  • inflamed breast where your breast may look red or swollen. In addition, the breast may feel hard.
  • a red, scaly rash on the breast resembling eczema
  • although breast pain is common it is not normally associated with breast cancer.

 These symptoms may be caused by conditions other than breast cancer but if you do experience any of them, it is important to talk to your doctor.

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This page was last updated on: Friday, May 17, 2019

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