Breast cancer doesn’t usually cause hurt or pain to people in the first stages when they have this type of cancer. When the disease first develops, there may be no symptoms at all. But as the cancer advances some of the following symptoms may become apparent. If these symptoms are observed then the individual should consult her physician who would then carry out tests to find out for sure if the individual does have breast cancer or not.
. Change in shape and size of the breast.
. Lump or mass present in the armpit.
. Presence of a breast mass or breast lump, on examination, which is generally painless, has no regular borders and is firm to hard to the touch.
. A nipple discharge which is abnormal in that it is usually green, bloody or clear to yellow fluid or may look like pus.
. A change in appearance or any sensation of the nipple, that is, if there is any itching, any enlargement or the nipple is retracted.
. Enlargement, pain in the breast, or any discomfort on only one side.
. Change in the feel or color of the skin of the nipple, or areola or the breast itself, that is, a redness, veins on breast surface are accentuated, scaly; dimpled or puckered and a retracted appearance.
. Some symptoms of an advanced case of the disease are weight loss, bone pain, skin ulceration and swelling of one arm.
Of the above-mentioned symptoms there are some that most women are not aware of that are actually symptoms of breast cancer. They are:
. An itchy breast
. A breast that constantly feels warm or hot to the touch – This is a symptom of the rare and dangerous breast cancer known as inflammatory breast cancer.
. A flat or an inverted nipple – Sometimes individuals have an inverted nipple from birth, this does not count as a symptom.
. The skin is dimpled around the breast or has the appearance of an orange peel – Most individuals feel embarrassed about this condition to show it to a physician. Most women think it is cellulite, which is not the case.
. A constant swollen and tender breast and/or a sudden increase in breast size – Women should consult their physician if they notice a sudden increase in breast size and also if there is constant swelling and tenderness in the breast other than when a woman is menstruating as it is fairly common for a woman’s breast to get swollen and feel tender during her period.
. Breast is red – This is often a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer, which usually can go undetected by self-breast examination and mammogram.
Some common symptoms of breast cancer in men:
Even though breast cancer is more common amongst women, men too can get breast cancer. It is estimated that over 1600 men in the United States alone get breast cancer each year. Some symptoms of breast cancer in men include:
. Swelling in breast, chest wall or nipple
. A lump
. A discharge from the nipple
. Inversion of the nipple, that is, the nipple turns inward
. Dimpling or puckering of the skin of the breast
. The skin of the breast or the nipple has a reddish appearance or it has a very scaly and dry appearance.