If you have a breast change, you may be concerned that you
have breast cancer. In most cases there is nothing to worry
about. However you should follow up all breast changes
as soon as possible. If it is cancer, finding it early
will mean a much better chance of effective treatment.
Possible signs of breast cancer include the following:
- Lumps, lumpiness or thickening. For younger women, if
it is not related to the normal monthly cycle and remains
after your period. For all women, if this is a new change
in one breast only.
- Any change in the size or shape of the breast or dimpling
of the skin. An area that feels different to the rest
- Changes to the nipple, such as change in shape, crusting,
a sore or ulcer, redness or indrawing of the nipple
- A discharge from the nipple, which is from one nipple,
is bloodstained or occurs without squeezing (or if you are
over 60 and have a new discharge)
- A pulling in of the nipple (know as nipple inversion
- Persistent unusual pain which is not related to your menstrual
cycle, remains after your period and is in one breast only
breast changes are not breast cancer.- A lump
or other change in the breast or nipple could be caused by:
- Hormonal changes
- Lumpy or Fibrocystic Breasts
Hormonal changes may cause swollen, painful or tender breasts
during your menstrual cycle. These are not a sign of breast
cancer and usually do not require treatment.
- Hormones are produced by glands in the body
- For pre-menopausal women, breast changes may mean your
breast feels different at different times of the month
- If you have been through menopause and are not taking
hormone replacement therapy, or had your ovaries removed,
you will no longer have breast changes due to hormonal activity
Breast pain is normally linked to hormonal change and is
quite common. It seldom indicates breast cancer. If you are
concerned about persistent breast pain you should consult
your doctor. Treatments are available for hormonal breast
You may like to keep a record of breast changes over a couple
of months to see whether the changes occur throughout the
month or seem to be more permanent.
Nipple changes may have other causes and should be investigated.