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‚ÄčKnow the symptoms of breast cancer


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK and one in eight women will develop the disease in their lifetime.


The importance of being aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer is being highlighted this October as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations.


Dr Anthony Cunliffe, a local GP and Cancer Lead at NHS Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group, said breast cancer can be prevented from spreading to other parts of the body if it was treated early enough.


"Nearly 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year," he said.

"The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed the earlier we can treat it so it's really important for people to know the signs and symptoms of the disease and to check their breasts regularly.

"Most breast changes are likely to be normal and most breast lumps aren't cancerous but it's always best to have them checked by your GP just in case."

Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.
You should also see your GP if you notice any of the following:

  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts

  • discharge from either of your nipples (which may be streaked with blood)

  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits

  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts

  • a rash on or around your nipple

  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast.

Breast pain isn't usually a symptom of breast cancer.

In 2011, just under 50,000 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

Eight out of 10 women who get breast cancer are over 50, but younger women, and in rare cases, men, can also get it.

More than eight out of 10 (85%) people survive breast cancer beyond five years.

To find out how to check your breasts for any symptoms of breast cancer visit


For free, confidential support and information about breast cancer call the breast cancer care helpline on 0808 800 6000.

Anyone wanting to get involved in supporting breast cancer awareness month should visit or