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Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

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What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

The signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle
  • A mass or lump, which may feel as small as a pea
  • A change in the size, shape, or contour of the breast
  • A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple
  • A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple (dimpled, puckered, scaly, or inflamed)
  • Redness of the skin on the breast or nipple
  • An area that is distinctly different from any other area on either breast
  • A marble-like hardened area under the skin

These changes may be found during a breast self-exam.

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Director Patty Jenkins connected naturally to her new short film, Pearl, one of five intertwined vignettes in the Lifetime Original Movies anthology, Five. The film quintet premieres Oct. 10 as part of Lifetime TV's "Stop Breast Cancer for Life" initiative (www.mylifetime.com/my-lifetime-commitment/breast-cancer). "No matter who you are, no amount of information ensures prevention," Jenkins says. "It's almost hard to find somebody who hasn't had a family member or friend with breast cancer." Jenkins,...

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Medical organizations don't agree on the recommendation for breast self-exams, which is an option for women starting in their 20s. Doctors should discuss the benefits and limitations of breast self-exam with their patients.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arnold Wax, MD on June 26, 2012
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