Breast cancer

Common symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • A lump, lumpiness or thickening in the breast or armpit
  • Dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin
  • Changes to the nipple (e.g. inversion, new discharge or itchy, ulcerated skin)
  • New persistent (long lasting) pain
  • An area that feels different from the rest

Get to know your breasts and what’s normal for you and if you notice any unusual changes tell your doctor or health worker.

If you have had any of these symptoms tell your doctor or health worker.  It doesn’t mean you’ve got breast cancer – often they turn out to be something less serious.  But it’s important to tell your doctor or health worker and get them checked.

If it is breast cancer, the earlier it’s found, the greater the chance of successful treatment.

Breast cancer myths and facts

Myth:  Age doesn’t matter when it comes to breast cancer.

Fact:  3 out of 4 breast cancers are found in women over 50.


Myth:  Breast cancer always runs in the family.

Fact:  Most women who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.


Myth:  I don’t have a lump so it can’t be breast cancer.

Fact:  A lump isn’t the only symptom of breast cancer.  There are other important breast changes to look out for.


Myth:  My breasts have always felt lumpy so I don’t need to tell my doctor.

Fact:  It is important to tell your doctor about any unusual lumps, regardless of how long you’ve had them for.


Myth:  Breast lumps have to be painful for it to be cancer.

Fact:  Breast lumps do not have to be painful to be cancer, so tell your doctor about any unusual lumps you find.


Find out more about:

You can also find out more about breast cancer by visiting Cancer Council WA’s website.

^ Back to top