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Health Protocols

Breast Cancer

Signs and Symptoms

Some women have signs and symptoms of breast cancer before diagnosis. Breast cancer can change how the breast or nipple feels. The most common symptom is a lump in the breast or in the armpit. Lumps in the upper, outer quadrant of the breast are most common (Bright 2016). Instead of a lump, women may feel swelling, tenderness, or thickening (Morrow 2000; Smania 2017). Cancer may also change the texture of the skin covering the breast. The pores may become enlarged. Cancer can also cause dimpling, swelling, or shrinking of the breast. Occasionally, women may notice a discharge from their nipples (Lee, Trikha 2017; Yamauchi 2012; Zhang, Cao 2012; Sharma 2010). Many women may not have any of these signs or symptoms before breast cancer diagnosis, and their cancer is detected during a routine mammogram (Davidson 2016; Dixon 2006; Mehrotra 2011).