The first symptom of breast cancer that most women notice is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast.
Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it's always best to have them checked by a doctor.
You should see a GP if you notice any of the following:
- a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- a discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
- a rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.
Want to know more?
It's important to be breast aware so you notice any changes as soon as possible.
Get to know what is normal for you – for instance, your breasts may look or feel different at different times of your life. This will make it easier to notice potential problems.
Page last reviewed: 28 October 2019
Next review due: 28 October 2022