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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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Types of Breast Cancer: ER Positive, HER2 Positive, and Triple Negative

One major way of defining your type of breast cancer is whether or not it is: Endocrine receptor (estrogen or progesterone receptor) positive HER2 positive Triple negative, not positive to receptors for estrogen, progesterone, or HER2 Triple positive, positive for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and HER2 These classifications provide doctors with valuable information about how the tumor acts and what kind of treatments may work best. In general, surgical and...

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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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