Breast Cancer Symptoms and Signs


  • The first symptom of breast cancer is often a node that has not been there before. There can also be felt or seen other changes in the breast, nipple or skin of the breast that may be signs of cancer
  • If you notice changes in the breast, it is important that you get it checked by a doctor

Symptoms and signs that may indicate breast cancer

You can not mark breast cancer at the earliest stages. The first symptom of breast cancer is usually a lump in the breast, either a knot you can mark or a node is discovered by a screening breast examination. Other symptoms may be that the breast or skin of the breast changes its appearance perhaps with the formation of ulcers. The nipple can change appearance, or there may be blood or liquid from the nipple.

Inflammatory breast cancer, which affects 1-5%, is an aggressive form of breast cancer, and most often occur in younger women. There is diffuse redness, local heat, itching and soreness in the chest, and the chest is often enlarged. The condition develops rapidly over days to weeks. Characteristic findings are retracted or flattened nipple and inflammatory changes of the overlying skin – “orange peel” -like changes. The condition may be confused with normal breast infection (mastit).

In rare cases, is the first symptom of a raised breast cancer lymph node in the axilla or above the clavicle.

Breasts may feel very different and may change in the menstrual cycle. It is important to examine her breasts regularly so you have the ability to detect changes.

Most nodules discovered in the breasts are harmless. But one discovers a new node, should be evaluated by a doctor. If in doubt about changes in your breast, you should have it checked by a doctor.

Animation of how to examine their own breasts:

When should you seek medical advice?

Breast cancer develops over many months and years, but as soon as the cancer is discovered, it attempts to treat it as soon as possible. The reason for this is that the cancer is difficult to treat the longer it is advanced. Warning signs that means you should consult a doctor include:

  • If you discover a lump in the breast
  • If you find a lump in the armpit or above the collarbone that do not disappear within 1-2 weeks
  • If you get a sudden discharge from the breast
  • If the nipple suddenly goes from being outwardly to be retracted. Retracted nipples may be normal for some
  • Irregularities, swelling and changes in the skin over the breasts. Redness and swelling of the chest is usually caused by an infection, but should still be checked promptly by a doctor, also infections should be treated

If you are unsure about any of this, you should in any case contact and consult with health professionals.

If you have a close relative (mother, sister, daughter) who have developed breast cancer, especially in young age, it may be that you need special follow-up – get in touch with your doctor to discuss this. Breast cancer in your father’s family is also important.

Scroll to top