Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

What Are Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Possible symptoms include:

  • A new lump or mass
  • Irritated or dimpled breast skin
  • Breast or nipple pain
  • A nipple that points inward
  • Red, scaly or thickening nipple or breast skin
  • Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)

Breast Lumps

Discovering an unusual growth or mass immediately brings worries of breast cancer.

Breast lumps aren’t unusual. Palpable lumps, or lumps that you or your doctor can feel, are very common, particularly in premenopausal women.

There are many different kinds of breast lumps, but most of these lumps have one thing in common: They’re usually not cancerous tumors. The majority of lumps turn out to be harmless, or benign, masses or growths. These include:

  • Soft, fluid-filled lumps that can feel tender, especially before your period
  • Rubbery lumps that move around under the skin and are usually painless
  • Fibrocystic changes—painful, lumpy breasts that often get worse before your period

Benign lumps can also develop from fatty tissue deposits or from breastfeeding, when sacs filled with milk form cysts. You can even get a lump from an injury, such as when your breast gets bruised or after breast surgery.