Health + Wellness

5 Commonly Overlooked Signs of Breast Cancer

signs of breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in American women, other than skin cancers. Breast cancer is the second-most deadly cancer for women, behind only lung cancer. Early detection of breast cancer is crucial to increasing the chances of a successful treatment and outcome. To detect breast cancer early, it’s important to have an awareness of the commonly experienced symptoms. While most women may be aware of the common symptoms of breast cancer, below are some of the most often overlooked signs. See a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed below to properly screen for breast cancer. 

1. Lumps in your breast

Although lumps in your breast are a common sign of breast cancer, they are still a widely overlooked symptom. It is essential to include a self-breast examination as a regular part of your health and wellness routine. 

At, we recommend a self-breast examination once a month to feel any irregularities in the breast tissue. 

RELATED: Breast Self-Exam 101

One way to perform a self-breast examination is to wait until you get out of the shower and gently massage the tissue in your breasts, being mindful of feeling for lumps, bumps, or anything that may feel out of the ordinary. A regular self-breast examination can help you feel when a change occurs in the breast tissue. 

Alert your doctor if any changes need to be looked into. A lump in the breast is one of the earliest and most common signs of breast cancer-detecting and can help stop breast cancer in its early stages. 

RELATED: “My Breasts Hurt. Should I Be Worried?”

2. Discharge from the Nipple

Another commonly overlooked breast cancer symptom is discharging from the nipple. 

If you are experiencing nipple discharge and you’re not breastfeeding, this is abnormal, and you should see a doctor. 

The discharge associated with breast cancer may be bloody. Some women report pain and discomfort in the nipple area. 

Nipple discharge may be normal in early pregnancy and while breastfeeding, but make sure to ask your doctor whether the discharge is healthy. 

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