Breast Cancer (cont.)
Breast Cancer Symptoms and Signs
Early breast cancer has no symptoms. It is usually not painful.
Most breast cancer is discovered before symptoms are present, either by
finding an abnormality on mammography or feeling a breast lump. A lump in the
armpit or above the collarbone that does not go away may be a sign of cancer.
Other possible symptoms are breast discharge, nipple inversion, or changes in
the skin overlying the breast.
- Most breast lumps are not cancerous. All breast lumps, however, need to be evaluated by a doctor.
- Breast discharge is a common problem and is rarely a symptom of cancer.
Discharge is most concerning if it is from only one breast or if it is bloody.
In any case, all breast discharge should be evaluated.
- Nipple inversion is a
common variant of normal nipples, but nipple inversion that is a new development
can be of concern.
- Changes in the skin of the breast include redness, changes
in texture, and puckering. These changes are usually caused by skin diseases but
occasionally can be associated with breast cancer.
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