Breast cancer in women

It's more common in women who are 50 and over, but it can also affect younger women. Improvements in treatment mean more women are surviving breast cancer.

This information is about breast cancer in women that hasn't spread to other parts of the body. We also have more information about:

Symptoms of breast cancer in women

Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
  • a lump in the breast
  • a change in the size or shape of the breast
  • dimpling of the skin or thickening in the breast tissue
  • a nipple that's turned in (inverted)
  • a rash (like eczema) on the nipple
  • discharge from the nipple
  • swelling or a lump in the armpit.

A lump in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer.

Most breast lumps are not cancerous. They are usually fluid-filled lumps (cysts) or a fibroadenoma, which is made up of fibrous and glandular tissue. But it is important to get a lump or any of these symptoms checked by your GP straight away.

If a lump or other symptom is caused by breast cancer, the earlier you have treatment, the more successful it's likely to be.

*Information provided by Macmillan cancer support

At The Christie, the breast cancer clinical oncology team specialises in non-surgical breast cancer treatment. The breast service in surgery carry out surgery related to breast cancer, including reconstructions.

Patient information

We have a number of patient information booklets available about breast cancer:

Last updated: July 2022