Not All Breast Cancers Start with a Lump

According to researchers from University College London, however, other warning signs may appear first. In fact, they found that one in six cases of breast cancer begins with a symptom other than a suspect lump. By being aware of these other symptoms, women (and men) can catch breast cancer early and get treatment as soon as possible.

The Research

Researchers at University College London examined the symptoms of 2,300 women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. They discovered that women who did not have a lump but experienced other symptoms, put off visiting their doctor, while women with a suspicious lump sought expert advice immediately.

Breast Cancer Symptoms Besides a Lump

Other symptoms of breast cancer besides a lump include:

  • A lump or swelling in either armpit.
  • Dimpling on the skin of the breasts.
  • Infection of the breast tissue.
  • Nipple changes, including rashes, bleeding, unexpected discharge, or a sunken nipple.
  • Sores on the skin of the breast.
  • A change in the size or shape of either breast.

By regularly checking for these symptoms (as well as for lumps in the breasts) and seeing a doctor immediately if any appear, you’ll be able to catch breast cancer as quickly as possible and start a treatment plan immediately.

“All too often, women are delaying going to their doctor with symptoms of breast cancer,” says Dr. Karen Kennedy, director of The National Cancer Research Institute. “This could be because people are simply unaware that breast cancer can present in many different ways, not just through the presence of a lump.”

But with a disease like breast cancer, says Kennedy, it’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible so you can start a treatment plan. Be sure to regularly self-exam yourself for all of these symptoms.

Help Us Help Women!

Has the information on our blog helped you or a loved one understand breast cancer and breast reconstruction? At the AiRS Foundation, we advocate on behalf of breast cancer patients, so they receive the knowledge and help needed to live full lives during and after breast cancer. Consider helping us by donating or volunteering! We are ALWAYS in need of help!