(www.BlackDoctor.org) -- Common symptoms of breast cancer include:
A change in how the breast or nipple feels
A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area
A change in how the breast or nipple looks
A change in the size or shape of the breast
A nipple turned inward into the breast
The skin of the breast, areola, or nipple may be scaly, red, or swollen. It may have ridges or pitting so that it looks like the skin of an orange.
Nipple discharge (fluid)
Early breast cancer usually does not cause pain. Still, a woman should see her health care provider about breast pain or any other symptom that does not go away.
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Other health problems may also cause them. Any woman with these symptoms should tell her doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
If you have a symptom or screening test result that suggests cancer, your doctor must find out whether it is due to cancer or to some other cause. Your doctor may ask about your personal and family medical history. You may have a physical exam. Your doctor also may order a mammogram or other imaging procedure. These tests make pictures of tissues inside the breast. After the tests, your doctor may decide no other exams are needed. Your doctor may suggest that you have a follow-up exam later on. Or you may need to have a biopsy to look for cancer cells.
Clinical Breast Exam:
Your health care provider feels each breast for lumps and looks for other problems. If you have a lump, your doctor will feel its size, shape, and texture. Your doctor will also check to see if it moves easily. Benign lumps often feel different from cancerous ones. Lumps that are soft, smooth, round, and movable are likely to be benign. A hard, oddly shaped lump that feels firmly attached within the breast is more likely to be cancer.