Just like most other forms of cancer, breast cancer does not reveal any symptoms at an early stage. Once the tumour has grown to a significant size, you will start seeing the following signs:
Lump in your breast or underarm
Feeling of the presence of a lump inside the breast is not uncommon during periods. However, in the case of cancer, you will notice that the lump does not go away even after your periods. This lump will most likely cause no pain but may give you a prickly sensation. If you have a high risk of getting breast cancer, you may consider getting regular diagnostic tests done. A mammogram can quickly locate such a lump even before you see or feel it.
Swelling in the armpit, collarbone, or breast
If you have persistent swelling in your armpit or collarbone without any injury or explanation, it is a very likely indication that your breast cancer has spread to lymph nodes. It is possible to get the swelling before you feel a lump in your breast.
Do not ignore this symptom and immediately contact your doctor. It may be a signal of an aggressive variant of breast cancer known as inflammatory cancer.
Pain or tenderness in your breast
In most cases of breast cancer, cancerous lumps are painless. However, if you do feel pain, it may be an indication of developing cancer.
A flat or indented area on your breast
If you do not feel a lump, but instead you see a flat or indented area on your breast, it can be a symptom of cancer.
Another likely symptom of breast cancer can be seen in the form of sudden changes in the affected breast. If your breast starts showing a difference in terms of size, contour, texture, or temperature, you should consult a doctor.
If your skin over the breast starts to appear reddish and pitted, it may indicate that the underlying cause is breast cancer in the advanced stage.
Changes in nipple
Certain kinds of changes in your nipple may occur due to developing breast cancer like:
- Pulled inward
- Appears burned
- Develops sores
- Discharge from nipple
An unusual discharge of any colour may also be caused due to breast cancer.
- Marble-like area under the skin
This is also a possible indication of a tumour in the breast.
When to See a Doctor?
When you notice one or more symptoms mentioned above, and they don’t go away and see a doctor. In most cases, these symptoms will not turn out to be caused by breast cancer.