Signs and symptoms of breast cancer

Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • a lump in the breast
  • a change in the size or shape of the breast
  • dimpling of the skin or thickening in the breast tissue
  • a nipple that’s turned in (inverted)
  • a rash (like eczema) on the nipple
  • discharge from the nipple
  • swelling or a lump in the armpit.

A lump in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer.

Most breast lumps are not cancerous. They are usually fluid-filled lumps (cysts) or a fibroadenoma, which is made up of fibrous and glandular tissue. But it is important to get a lump or any of these symptoms checked by your GP straight away.

If a lump or other symptoms is caused by breast cancer, the earlier you have treatment the more successful it is likely to be.

Back to How breast cancer is diagnosed

Tests and scans

Your medical team may use different tests and scans to see if you have breast cancer. If you do have cancer you will have further tests to find out more.

Breast screening

Breast screening can help detect cancer so it can be treated as soon as possible. The sooner cancer is treated, the more effective treatment will be.