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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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5 Things Young Women Must Know About Breast Cancer

Just a few months before learning that she had breast cancer, Christina Applegate got a shocking insight into the struggles faced by other young women also at high risk for the disease -- and who don’t have the resources of a Hollywood celebrity. Because her mother had battled breast cancer and ovarian cancer, Applegate had been going for regular mammograms since age 30. “But when I turned 36, my doctor said that my breasts were just too dense for mammography alone, and he referred me for screening...

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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-exams with their patients.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on June 28, 2015
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