Symptoms of breast cancer

In most cases it is not possible to say what causes normal breast tissue to behave in this abnormal way. It is presumed that a number of different factors such as biological/genetic predisposition and environmental parameters (such as lifestyle and environmental influences) combine to cause the disease to develop. Breast cancer does not usually cause pain or any other typical symptoms.

The following may be signs of breast cancer and must therefore be investigated in more detail:

  • New, hard lumps in the breast
  • Dimpling of the breast or retraction of the nipple
  • Recent change in the size of the breasts
  • Initial signs of nipple inversion
  • Inflammation or reddening of the nipple in women not currently breastfeeding
  • Discharge of liquid from the nipple (particularly if bloody)

Enlarged lymph glands in the armpits

Do not be alarmed if you notice one of more of these symptoms. There is no reason to presume that you have breast cancer. However, it is still advisable to see a doctor without delay, as early recognition of breast cancer greatly increases the chances of successful treatment.

Individuals at increased risk

Breast cancer occurs more frequently in some families and at an early age, and sometimes together with ovarian cancer or breast cancer in men. If a genetic test indicates that the tendency toward this disease is inherited, it is known as genetic or hereditary breast cancer. These families are referred to as high-risk families. They are carriers of abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. A precautionary mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction is recommended in these cases. We can advise you on this and help you identify whether you have an increased risk, and what measures would be beneficial in your case.

Brochure on the Centre for Breast Cancer Surgery

«Breast cancer:
A question of quality of life»
(in German)

Brochure Download

Centre for Breast Cancer Surgery
Pyramid Clinic
Bellerivestrasse 34
CH-8034 Zurich

+41 44 388 15 15
+41 44 388 14 15

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