Breast cancer can occur for many different reasons and appear in a variety of forms. It is very important to know what to look for in terms of the early signs and symptoms of breast cancer. The earlier you spot these symptoms, the easier it would be for the affected cells to be contained and destroyed, and the more likely that you will have a successful recovery. The longer the cancer is left untreated, the greater the risk is that it would return later on, or not be removed at all.

As one of the more common types of cancer seen throughout North America, many of the symptoms are well documented. When you notice these signs, it is important to speak to a doctor as soon as possible, even if you feel like it might not be what you think it is. Sometimes what appears to be a tumor may be a clump of fatty tissue trapped beneath the skin. Your doctor can tell you this with a pain free ultrasound test.


One of the common early signs and symptoms of breast cancer is the lump. This can be found anywhere around the breast tissue, and might resemble a large round ball, or an irregular hard shape. You can find these through regular mammograms, or by checking yourself at home with two fingers being pressed into the breast tissue.

Some lumps form as you get close to the time for menstruation or if you are pregnant and preparing to breast feed, but if neither of these things should be affecting your tissue. If you feel a lump that lingers, you should have it checked.

Lumps are not exclusive to the breast. Believe it or not, sometimes you will discover breast cancer after finding a lump in your arm pit. Breast cancer can spread to outer tissue and your lymph nodes as it progresses through the various stages of the disease.


Some signs may appear in the shape and feel of your nipples. If they darken or lighten, look different in shape, feel rough or itchy, begin leaking fluid, or begin to point inward rather than outward, you should see a doctor. Nipples can become overly sensitive, or seem to lose sensation. Any random changes that seem to last should be looked into, especially they involve a drastic physical change in shape, color or texture.

Skin Changes

Sometimes, in rare cases, certain early signs and symptoms of breast cancer include rashes or skin discoloration. This can appear in the form of itchy, scaly skin on the nipples, or as a rigid red bump on the outer breast tissue. Swelling and redness, purple patches, or a change in the feel of your breast skin are also possible signs that should not be ignored.

As the cancer progress, symptoms may also worsen or change. Various other symptoms of the disease such as weight loss, pain, liquid on the lungs, fatigue, nausea, and muscle weakness will also begin to set in as the cancer goes untreated. It is advisable to speak to your doctor at the first sign of the illness.