What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

If you have a symptom of breast cancer, you should contact your GP for an assessment. Many symptoms can be managed by your GP, and you may not need to be seen in the specialist breast clinic.

Common breast cancer symptoms

  • A lump in the breast or under the arm
  • A change in the shape or size of the breast
  • Puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • Changes to the nipple
  • Bleeding or discharge from the nipple
  • Rash on or around the nipple

If your GP refers you for an assessment, you will be seen in the breast clinic within two weeks.

I am a man with a breast cancer symptom

Most breast tissue in men is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple and the surrounding pigmented area, called the areola. It is this area and underneath the armpits that you should check regularly, looking for any unusual changes.

The most common breast cancer symptoms found in men are predominantly the same as found in women. They can be found in one or both sides of breast tissue and include:

  • A lump in the chest/breast area or in your armpit
  • Pain/tenderness around the nipple
  • Swelling of the chest around the nipple

The first thing you should do, if you have one or more of these symptoms (especially a lump in your chest area or under your arm), is to go and see your GP.  

Often, the GP will be able to assess and treat your symptoms, without the need to visit one of our specialist clinics.