Signs and symptoms of breast cancer

It’s important that any breast changes are investigated by your doctor as soon as possible.

Breast changes can be a sign or symptom of breast cancer but could also have other causes. Your doctor will be able to advise you.

Breast self-exams are not proven to be a good alternative to regular breast screens.

Breast changes that should be investigated by your doctor include:

  • a new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast
  • a change in the size or shape or your breast
  • a change to the nipple such as crusting or redness, or the nipple is pulled in
  • nipple discharge (liquid comes out of the nipple) that occurs without squeezing the nipple
  • a change in the skin of your breast such as redness, puckering (pulling in) or dimpling (like orange peel)
  • an unusual pain that doesn’t go away.

You should learn what your breasts normally look and feel like. There is no right or wrong way to do this.

In between breast screens, you should see your doctor if you notice any changes to the normal look and feel of your breasts. You should see your doctor even if the changes you notice aren’t on this list.

Last updated: October 2021