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The signs and symptoms of breast cancer

Signs and symptoms

It is important to know and recognise the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and to take action immediately if you detect any of these.

The most common sign is a breast lump. A lump that is painless, hard and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer.

However, some cancers are tender, soft and smooth. So, it’s important to have any lump or breast change checked by a doctor.

Other signs that could sometimes suggest breast cancer are:

  • Swelling or change in size of the breast.
  • Skin irritation or dimpling.
  • Nipple change – pain or retraction (pulling inwards).
  • Rash, redness, scaling or thickening on or around the nipple or breast skin.
  • Nipple discharge.
  • Lump under the arm.

Breast screening is important

It is important to check your breasts monthly to monitor any changes.

The widespread use of screening mammograms has increased the detection of breast cancers found before they cause any symptoms.

Read more about breast screening here.

Image 1: Emabal Hospitals

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