Research shows that more than 40 percent of women detect a lump in their breasts at some point or the other in their lives. But a lump in the breast is not necessarily cancerous.

However once you feel the lump, it is a good idea to look out for the symptoms and get a mammogram done. Health care experts suggest that women past 35 and those nearing menopause should get their breasts checked every three months by a doctor to stay safe.

The lump is more likely to be cancerous in older women who have gone through menopause than in younger women. Here are the key signs to look out for to know if your lump is malignant or not:

1) A lump that begins by being the size of a pea, and may grow eventually.

2) You feel the lump or a thickening in or near the breast. It may appear in the underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle.

3) Tenderness in the breast that is painful to touch.

4) Change in the shape and size of the breast.

5) A blood-stained or clear fluid discharge from the nipple.

6) Redness of skin

7) Breast or nipple appears puckered, scaly, inflamed or dimpled.

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