Breast Cancer

Did you know?

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Western Australia, though men can also develop breast cancer.
  • In 2019, 1,899 Western Australian women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Common symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • A lump or hard area in your breast or underarm, especially if it is only on one side
  • A change in the size, shape or feel of your breast
  • Change in the look of your breast, including, redness, rash, or your skin looks like the skin of an orange, or is wrinkling in small folds.
  • Changes to the nipple, like it’s pulled inwards, leaking, itchy or has a sore that won’t heal
  • Breast pain or discomfort, especially if it is only on one side
  • An area of the breast that feels different to the rest

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

If you have had any of these symptoms tell your doctor, nurse or Aboriginal 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 health professional and get them checked.

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

For further information on symptoms related to other types of cancers, please click here.

What about screening?

Breast cancer can also occur with no symptoms, so for Australian women 50 to 74 years NOT experiencing the symptoms above, it’s important to take part in breast screening every two years with BreastScreen WA. Screening mammograms are designed for people who are NOT experiencing symptoms.

Waiting to participate in screening when you have a symptom could delay your diagnosis and risk a worse outcome. The best thing to do if you have a symptom is to tell your doctor, clinic nurse or Aboriginal health worker.

For more information visit the BreastScreen WA website here.