Lump in the breast, which does not go away and may feel hard, irregular and different from the rest of the breast tissue. The lump may be tender but not painful. Lumps are found by the patient on self breast examinations, found by clinical breast examinations and are often found by annual screening mammography machines.
· Lump in the armpit, which is caused by enlarged lymph nodes and usually means that the lymphatic system is fighting an infection in that area. It can also mean the breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
· Nipple turns inward (inverted nipple), which is not normal for the person. Some nipples are always inverted.
· Crusting, ulceration or eczema-type symptoms on the nipple, which could be a sign of Paget’s disease, a rare form of breast cancer.
· Nipple discharge may be a sign of cancer if it occurs spontaneously and is blood stained. Many medical conditions can cause nipple discharge and it should always be reported to your doctor.
· Changes in breast size, which can also be a change in the outline of the breast.
· Changes in the skin of the breast, which can include any of the following: dimpling or puckering of the skin, thickening and dimpling skin similar to an orange peel, redness, swelling and increased warmth in the affected breast, round areas that itch, distended veins on the breast in an irregular pattern.
If any of these signs or symptoms occur, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. It has been shown that patients who are diagnosed at early stages of breast cancer have a much higher survival rate than those who are diagnosed at later stages.