Lump in this area of the body is a sign of breast cancer (and it’s not the the breast)

Breast cancer is around 100 times less common among men than women but is the most common cancer in the UK. 

One person is diagnosed every 10 minutes, according to Breast Cancer Care. 

For men the breast cancer develops in the small amount of breast tissue they have behind their nipples, and for women one of the first symptoms is a lump or an area of thickened tissue in their breast. 

Most breast lumps aren’t cancerous, but there are a number of other symptoms to look out for in men and women - including a lump in the armpit. 

The NHS outlines the symptoms of breast cancer in men and women separately. 

Symptoms of breast cancer in women: 

  • A new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before 
  • A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts 
  • Bloodstained discharge from either of your nipples 
  • 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 symptom of breast cancer 

Symptoms of breast cancer in men: 

  • A lump in the breast - this is usually hard, painless and doesn’t move around within the breast 
  • The nipple turning inwards (inverted nipple)
  • Fluid oozing from the nipple (nipple discharge), which may be streaked with blood. 
  • A sore or rash around the nipple that doesn’t go away 
  • The nipple or surrounding skin becoming hard, red or swollen 
  • Small bumps in the armpit (swollen glands) 

If you notice any of these symptoms make a visit to see your GP. 

The NHS adds: “Your GP will examine your breast and can refer you for tests and scans for breast cancer if needed. 

“If you don’t have symptoms but have a clear family history of breast cancer, your GP may refer you to a genetic specialist to discuss your risk of getting it.

“There are some inherited genes that increase your risk of cancer and a blood test can be done to check for these.” 

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