Breast cancer symptoms: Five early, ‘common’ nipple signs indicative of a growing tumour

Julia Bradbury discusses her breast cancer diagnosis

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Uniting against breast cancer, the charity Walk The Walk pointed out four early and common signs of the disease that could prompt diagnosis, treatment, and cure. One of the early and “common” symptoms of breast cancer is when a rash develops around the nipple. Another sign of a growing breast tumour includes “a nipple that has become pulled in”.

It is also an indication of breast cancer when the nipple changes its position or shape.

The key word here is “changes”, as some women do have retracted nipples; this is only a concern if this a new development for you.

Breast cancer can also lead to discharge leaking from one or both nipples.

Five early and common nipple signs

  1. Rash around the nipple
  2. A nipple that has become pulled in
  3. A nipple that has changed its position or shape
  4. Discharge from one or both nipples
  5. Change in skin colour around the nipple.

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“The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chance of successful treatment and cure,” Walk The Walk confirmed.

While a lump in the breast tissue could be a sign of the disease, nine out of 10 breast lump are not cancerous.

Other signs of breast cancer can include:

  • Any unusual change in the shape or size of one of your breasts
  • If one breast has changed and become lower than the other
  • Puckering or dimpling of the skin
  • A lump or thickening within the breast or armpit
  • Constant pain in one part of the breast.

People are encouraged to check their breasts every month, on the same day.

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For menstruating women, it is advisable to do so “immediately after the end of your period”.

Trustee of Walk The Walk, Stephen Johnston – head of the breast unit at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust – shared his words of advice.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to urge those of you that may have any potential symptoms that might indicate breast cancer, to visit your doctor and have a breast check as soon as possible – please don’t put it off.

“Any delay in diagnosis of breast cancer could have an impact on diagnosis and treatment… getting checked out and assessed is very important.”

Is breast cancer preventable?

Walk The Walk stated that “around 40 percent of cancers are preventable” – equating to 144,000 cases each year.

To help minimise your risk of cancer, the charity recommend “eating a healthy diet”.

In addition to consuming a good amount of vitamins and minerals, “being more active every day” is also encouraged.

The Breast Cancer Prevention charity added that to minimise your risk you should “drink no or little alcohol”.

Moreover, people are advised not to smoke; taking in all of these factors, you can reduce your risk of disease.

Added benefits include: better sleep, better physical and mental health, and a lower risk of heart problems.

“Certain hormone disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can mimic the natural hormone oestrogen which increases the rate of cell division,” added the Breast Cancer Prevention charity.

“The more a cell divides the more likely mutations will occur and accumulate, including those associated with breast cancer.”

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