Fast Five Quiz: Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Maurie Markman, MD; Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH

Disclosures

June 07, 2022

Figure 1. Breast cancer, colored MRI of a 32-year-old patient. There are several malignant tumors (blue) in the left breast (at right). This is a centrally necrotizing carcinoma, a particularly aggressive form of cancer. The tumors consist of a central core of dead cells surrounded by an outer layer of malignant cells.

Early-stage breast cancer is often asymptomatic, and pain and discomfort are typically not present. Only 5% of patients with a malignant mass present with breast pain.

Other signs and symptoms suggestive of breast cancer include:

  • Breast lump

  • Skin dimpling or skin changes

  • Recent nipple inversion or skin change, or nipple abnormalities

  • Single-duct discharge, particularly if blood-stained

  • Axillary lump

  • Change in breast size or shape

Skin dimpling may occur in breast cancer, particularly inflammatory breast cancer; most of the diagnoses of inflammatory breast cancer are made at a more advanced stage.

Breathing difficulties may be indicative of metastatic breast cancer rather than early-stage disease.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.

processing....