Tumors that originate in the breast tissue can indicate the development of breast cancer, although several types of breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous). The disease is most common in women but can also occur in men. Catching any cancer, including breast cancer, as early as possible gives medical professionals and patients the best chance to slow or eradicate the disease. Recognizing the symptoms of breast cancer can help with prompt diagnosis.

Lump in the breast

The symptom of breast cancer people most often hear about is the discovery of a lump in the breast. This lump may be small and soft or feel like a hard knot in the tissue. While lumps in the breast are common and not always a sign of tumor growth, if they persist or grow, it is best to speak to a medical profession. Sometimes, lumps cannot be felt until cancer has developed into its later stages. Sometimes small growths not felt in palpitation can show up in a mammogram. A painless, hard mass with irregular edges is more likely to be cancer.


Skin changes

Some people with breast cancer experience visible changes to the breast. These are often an early sign of breast cancer. The skin may begin to itch or tingle, and the individual may notice redness. Inflammatory breast cancer can cause swelling and a dimpled look to the skin similar to an orange peel texture.



In the early stages of breast cancer, the breast may look completely normal. As cancer progresses, swelling can indicate an issue or remain unnoticed. The arm on the same side of the body and the underarm area might also swell. When the lymph nodes under the arm are cancerous, they become swollen, blocking and altering the flow of fluids through the body, resulting in swelling.


Discharge from the nipple

Nipple discharge is any fluid that comes from the nipple. It may be yellow or white, and quite liquid or thicker in consistency. The secretions may also take on the color of blood or appear like blood floating in mucus. In some cases, pain accompanies the leakage. Discharge from both nipples is more likely caused by a condition outside the breast such as hormonal imbalances. On the other hand, discharge in one nipple suggests disease of the breast, such as infection or cancer.


Breast pain

Experiencing pain in the breast for extended time not linked to the menstrual cycle is a sign to see a doctor. As tumors inside the breast continue to grow, they can place pressure on the breast tissue and chest. Ulcers and skin abrasions can develop when the tumor reaches the surface. Cancer spreading into the ribs can also cause severe pain.



People with cancer can develop insomnia for many reasons, often related to the mental stressors of dealing with a health condition. Cancer itself can affect the sleep-wake cycle and interfere with healthy, restful sleep. Depression and anxiety can interrupt sleep patterns or make it difficult to fall asleep. However, pain in the region of the tumor can also keep people from sleeping, as can some anti-cancer treatments.



Fatigue or general lethargy is one of the most common symptoms of breast cancer at all stages. Chemotherapy can cause fatigue, but even prior to treatment, the changes occurring and the body's constant efforts to fight the disease can lead to persistent tiredness that does not ebb with sleep. Problems sleeping that do not resolve and interfere with wellbeing should always be discussed with a physician.


Digestive problems

Any form of cancer can cause problems with diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and an upset stomach, firstly, because cancer interferes with appetite and food absorption, causing malnutrition. Chemotherapy and other anti-cancer medication can also reduce appetite. The stress cancer provokes in many individuals can also trigger difficulties related to the digestive system. Some patients develop food intolerances and may begin to avoid certain foods, trying to stave off the side effects.


Shortness of breath

Breast cancer can lead to shortness of breath. This can occur due to the size and positioning of the tumor inside the breast or along the chest wall. If cancer has spread to the lungs, as can happen in the late stages of breast cancer, shortness of breath might be accompanied by a wheezing or a dry, hacking cough. Breathing difficulty usually suggests a lung or heart disease, but when coupled with one or more of the other early warning signs, it may also indicate advanced breast cancer.


Difficulty walking and sitting

Once the cancer begins to spread, a variety of other symptoms may become more and more noticeable. Many people feel pain and discomfort in the bones, where cancer can easily spread. Patients may experience severe pain and loss of the range of motion in the hips, pelvis, spine, arms, and legs. This can make walking or sitting difficult, limiting mobility. When cancer spreads to the brain, symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, and headaches can also manifest.


Inverted nipple

Breast cancer can sometimes be present without any obvious signs of a lump. However, a newly inverted nipple can be one of the first signs that you have breast cancer. This means that the nipple, which once pointed outward, starts to turn inward into the breast. While not all nipple inversions indicate cancer, any sudden changes in the nipple's appearance should prompt a visit to the doctor.

Baby bottle nipple isolated on white background.


Nipple skin changes

The skin around the nipple is sensitive and can sometimes show early signs of breast cancer. Therefore, it is important to be aware of any changes in this region peeling, scaling, crusting, or flaking of the skin surrounding the nipple. Although eczema can sometimes cause similar symptoms, it is important to prioritize your health and consider the possibility of cancer. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional for checkup.

Flaky skin from allergies, peeling or eczema. Dry skin in need of treatment and hydration.


"Orange Peel" Skin

Another symptom to watch out for is the skin over the breast taking on a texture that looks like the skin of an orange, known as PeauD Orange. This change is a major symptom of inflammatory breast cancer, which ] can be due to the breast's lymphatic vessels being blocked by cancerous cells. The skin surrounding the nipple might appear purple, reddish, pink, or bruised, and this symptom should never be ignored.

citrus, orange or grapefruit peel, background


Nipple Retraction

Nipple retraction can be an early warning sign of more common types of cancer, such as carcinomas. Unlike inverted nipples which pull inward, retracted nipple lie flat against the breast rather than indenting in. While some people naturally have inverted nipples, any new or sudden retraction should be a cause for concern to see a doctor immediately.

In the hospital, the patient undergoes a screening procedure for a mammogram, which is performed by a mammogram. A modern technologically advanced clinic with professional doctors.


Male Breast Symptoms

While breast cancer in men is less common, it is crucial to be aware of the signs. Men should look out for lumps in the breast, skin changes like redness or dimpling, nipple alterations, swelling in the breast or lymph nodes, and skin ulceration. Early detection in men, as in women, can lead to better outcomes.

Breast cancer in men concept : Portrait Asian man and pink ribbon the symbol of breast cancer campaign. Studio shot isolated on grey background


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