Symptoms of breast cancer

Consult a doctor if you notice any of the above changes

There are other breast conditions that might mimic the symptoms of breast cancer and so require further tests to diagnose. These include:

  • Cysts: Fluid-filled sacs more common in women aged 35 – 50
  • Fibroadenomas: Benign tumours made of glandular and fibrous tissue, common in younger women
  • Hyperplasia: A proliferation of cells in the lobes or ducts
  • Calcifications: Bits of calcium in the breast
  • Papillomas: Small growths that arise from the lining of the breast ducts and are often not more than 0.5-1.0cm in size
  • Phyllodes tumours: Tumours which tend to grow rapidly to a large size, sometimes up to 8-10cm in size
  • Infections of the breast: Lumps due to an infection are usually very painful and there will be skin changes such as redness and swelling over the lump

Of these, hyperplasia is believed to increase risk for breast cancer while clusters of tiny calcifications (microcalcifications) can be indications of pre-cancer or cancer.

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