Basically, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. A lump may be too small to feel or to cause any unusual changes that can be noticed. Most often, an abnormal area turns up on a screening mammogram (x-ray of the breast), which leads to further testing.
However, in some cases,the first sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast that one can feel. A lump that is painless, hard, and has uneven edges is more likely to be cancer. But sometimes cancers can be tender, soft, and rounded. So it’s important to have anything unusual checked by the doctor.
In most instances, any of the following unusual changes in the breast can be a symptom of breast cancer:
1. swelling of all or part of the breast
2. skin irritation or dimpling
3. breast pain
4. nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
5. redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
6. a nipple discharge other than breast milk
7. a lump in the underarm area
Incidentally, these changes also can be signs of less serious conditions that are not cancerous, such as an infection or a cyst.
Whenever there is some changes in the breast, immediate consultation with doctor is necessary and it would be best to undergo a mammogram.