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Learn to Recognize Early Signs of Breast Cancer

The best way to find breast cancer early is with a mammogram. If you’re a woman 50 to 74 years old, get a screening mammogram every two years. If you’re 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when and how often to get a screening mammogram.

Symptoms

When breast cancer starts out, it’s too small to feel. As it grows, breast cancer can cause changes in how the breast looks or feels. Symptoms may include—

  • A new lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast.

Where to Get a Mammogram

If you want to be screened for breast cancer, call your doctor’s office. Most health insurance companies pay for screening mammograms. If you have a low income or don’t have health insurance, you may qualify for a free or low-cost mammogram through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

Learn more about breast cancer.