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Signs and Symptoms of Breast Abnormalities

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The majority of breast cancers are found by people noticing unusual changes in their breast or axilla and visiting their general practitioner.

Clinical signs and symptoms

The following symptoms require investigation to rule out or confirm breast cancer:

  • A hard lump with fixation – there may be skin tethering, dimpling, altered colour or shape of the breast.
  • A lump that has got bigger.
  • A new, discrete breast lump.
  • A new lump in pre-existing nodularity.
  • A persistent focal area of lumpiness or a focal change in breast texture.
  • Progressive change in breast size with signs of oedema.
  • Asymmetrical nodularity persisting after a period.
  • Skin distortion.
  • Previous history of breast cancer with a new lump or suspicious symptoms.
  • New one sided nipple discharge, bloody nipple discharge or new inversion of the nipple.
  • Nipple eczema or change that does not respond to topical treatments.
  • Axillary (armpit) lump
  • Ulceration of the breast skin may indicate locally advanced breast cancer
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