Early Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Neha Mittal   by Neha Mittal, MS, Biotechnology    Last updated on February 21, 2021,

breast cancer early signs


The first symptom of breast cancer that most women notice is a lump in their breast.However, most breast lumps are not cancerous. As many as 90% of them are non-cancerous. But it is important to check them at an early stage so as to prevent cancerous growths. You should contact your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms that may be indicative of breast cancers.

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Sometimes there are no symptoms of breast cancer, particularly when it is in its early stages. However, it is better to find the cancer earlier. The earlier it is detected, the easier it is to treat it. This is the reason why doctors recommend early detection and screening. Below is the listing of some symptoms that you should be aware of. However, it is important to note that because you have one or more symptoms does not mean that you have the disease. But if you notice any of these symptoms, call your doctor and book an appointment.


breast cancer symptoms
  • A new suspicious lump or a thickened area or tissue in one or both breasts that was not present earlier
  • Pain in the lump: though pain may not necessarily occur. A lump without a pain may still be an indication of breast cancer.
  • A change in the size or shape of either of or both the breasts
  • Discharge from the nipples
  • Swelling in any of the armpits or underarm lumps: Breast tissue can extend under the arms and the cancer can spread through the lymph nodes under your arms. This may require urgent attention. 
  • Rashes on or around the nipples
  • Changes in the appearance of your breasts
  • Dimples in the skin of the breast
  • A texture similar to that of orange around the nipples
  • Changes in the colour of the breast or discoloration
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Any thickening of the skin of the breast

Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body too. If it spreads to other parts, it is called metastatic breast cancer, or stage 4 breast cancer. Generally, metastatic cancer is not curable. However, it is possible to manage breast cancer when it spreads. In such cases, the symptoms may vary based on the organs affected. You can read about the symptoms of the metastatic breast cancer here.

Neha Mittal

Neha Mittal completed graduation in Biotechnology from Graphics Era University, Dehradun and Masters in Biotechnology from Amity University, Noida. In the past, she worked with Sharon Biomedicine Ltd., DUKES Products Ltd., and Forest Research Institute, Dehradun as researcher in biotechnology.


Neha loves singing and dancing in leisure time. She also enjoys traveling and maintains a collection of great novels.

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