Of course, that’s not to say you should stop inspecting your breasts. In the new study, 83 percent of the women who had breast cancer symptoms and were diagnosed found a lump first. But a little more awareness of other signs can’t hurt. “Our results highlight opportunities for a shift in emphasis in symptom awareness campaigns toward breast symptoms other than breast lump,” the researchers write. “If women notice any changes in their breasts, they need to have a professional evaluate them,” Weber agrees. “Talk to a doctor about anything that looks different from their normal appearance.” Here are a few of those symptoms to watch out for.
A rough patch of skin that feels scaly or thicker than usual or skin that starts to dimple can signal breast cancer, Weber says. With some breast cancers, channels that go from the inside of the breast to the skin become blocked, resulting in skin changes that make the breast look like it’s covered in an orange peel.
Sometimes a lump can be lurking under the surface, even if a woman can’t feel it. This might change the shape or size of a breast, and could even result in some pain, which 6 percent of women in the recent research reported.