Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast and can gradually spread to other parts of the body. Tumors in the breasts grow slowly, and by the time a lump can be felt, it may have been already growing for probably 10 years.

With the help of regular mammography screening, breast cancers can be found at an early stage. However, not all breast cancers can be identified using this method.

The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump formation in the breast. Sometimes, the lump can be seen in the mammography screening before it can be felt. Small, hard lumps in the armpit may be a sign of breast cancer.

Here are some other warning signs that could indicate early stage of breast cancer:

  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkness of the breast
  • Itching of the breast or nipple may be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer
  • Changes in breast shape or size
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Pulling in of the nipples or other parts of the breast
  • Lingering pain on one spot of the breast
  • Discharge from one nipple, especially without squeezing the nipple
  • Crusting, ulcers or scaling on the nipple

Late signs and symptoms include bone pain, nausea, weight loss, headache, double vision, muscle weakness and loss of appetite.