Breast cancer Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?

Breast cancer signs and symptoms are the following:

  1. Change in the texture of breast
  2. Discharge from the nipple
  3. Dimpled skin on the breast
  4. Pain in the nipple or breast
  5. Retraction (turning inwards) of a nipple
  6. Puckering, or thickening of the nipple
  7. Redness or scaling of breasts or nipples

What is usually the first sign of breast cancer?

The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass on the breasts. Swelling of the breast, skin irritation, or dimpling is other most common symptoms of breast cancer. 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.

Would I know if I had breast cancer?

Many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all. Breast cancer symptoms vary widely. They may range from lumps to swelling to skin changes. Many breast cancer symptoms are invisible and not noticeable without a professional screening. However, the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or growth in the breast that you or your doctor can feel.

How do Breast cancer symptoms or tumors feel?

Tumors roll under the skin when pressure is applied to them with hands or fingers. They feel like small peas beneath the surface of the skin.

How should a breast self-exam be performed?

  1. In the Shower, move your hands around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center.
  2. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lumps.
  3. See your entire body in front of a Mirror 
  4. While lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall so you can check easily your boobs.

What is the first sign of inflammatory breast cancer?

Early inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) symptoms may include:

  1. Irritation similar to an insect bite
  2. Inversion or flattening of nipples
  3. Persistent itching
  4. Red swollen and warm breasts
  5. The skin may appear pitted like an orange peel

Does inflammatory breast cancer come on suddenly?

  1. Yes, inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) symptoms can appear suddenly. If your symptoms do not go away with medicines, then your doctor will examine you in detail through a mammogram or some testing mechanisms.
  2. Inflammatory breast cancer is often confused with mastitis. Mastitis is an infection of the breast.
  3. African-American women are diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) at a significantly higher rate than white women of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic origins.

How long does inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) take to show symptoms?

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) usually develop within three to six months. Red or purple color or a rash spreading over one-third part of the breast is the symptom of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).

Do symptoms of IBC come and go?

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) grows and spreads quickly.  Its symptoms aggravate within days or even hours so it is very important to diagnose its symptoms and start proper treatment.

What are the symptoms of Stage 4 breast cancer?

Symptoms of Stage 4 Breast Cancer are:

Stage 4 breast cancer is also known as metastatic breast cancer. By this stage, the cancer is no longer curable because it has spread beyond the breast and maybe affect vital organs such as the liver, lungs, or brain.

Breast lump

  1. Discomfort and pain that interrupts regular sleep
  2. Loss of appetite and weight loss

Shortness of breath

  1. Some types of breast cancer may result in skin changes
  2. You may feel swelling around the breast or armpit areas.
  3. You may feel increased tumor however not all stage 4 cancer will include large tumors
  4. A large tumor can spread into the chest muscles and ribs causing pain.
  5. Paget’s disease of the breast is a type of cancer that occurs in the nipple.  The skin may be an itch, dry, red, or flaky.
  6. Inflammatory breast cancer may create skin changes. Redness, swelling, and dimpled skin are major symptoms.

Nipple discharge

  1. Nipple discharge can be a symptom of any stage. Yellow or puss like fluid or bloody fluid may discharge from your nipples
  2. The breast might look normal in the early stages of breast cancer but in advanced stages, swelling in the breast area and/or in the affected arm may be felt.
  3. Tightness in the chest and difficulty taking in deep breaths may occur in stage 4 breast cancer.
  4. You may feel pain and discomfort as cancer grows and spreads in the breast.

Stomach upset, loss of appetite, and weight loss


Fatigue is the most common symptom in people with cancer. At stage 4 cancer, fatigue may become more prevalent, making everyday life more difficult.

What are the symptoms associated with the spread of breast cancer?

Symptoms associated with the spread of the breast cancer:

Common places for breast cancer to spread include the bones, lungs, liver, and brain.

When breast cancer spreads into bones it may cause pain in the following organs:

  1. Arms, shoulders, and legs
  2. Hips, pelvis, and spine
  3. Skull and ribs

When (breast) cancer cells get into the lungs they cause shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and a chronic cough.

It may take some time for symptoms to show up from cancer in the liver. Fever, edema, jaundice, weight loss, and swelling are major symptoms when breast cancer spreads into the liver.

When cancer spreads to the brain it can cause neurological symptoms which may include: Imbalance in the body, dizzy feeling, headache, visual changes, and weakness.

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