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Breast Cancer & Nipple Symptoms

by
author image Rae Uddin
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
Breast Cancer & Nipple Symptoms
People who develop nipple changes should consult a doctor. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Each year, approximately one in every ten women is diagnosed with breast cancer, according to MedlinePlus. This form of cancer arises when abnormal, cancerous cells rapidly replicate within the breast tissue. Breast cancer can cause unusual nipple changes or symptoms in certain people, which should be discussed with a medical professional if they occur.

Nipple Inversion

Breast cancer can cause abnormal inversion of the nipple of the affected breast. People who develop this nipple symptom can notice that the nipple appears to pull inwards towards the body, rather than protruding away from the body, the National Cancer Institute reports.

Nipple Discoloration or Flaking

The skin across the nipple, also called the areola, can become abnormally discolored as a symptom of breast cancer. The affected nipple can appear red, irritated or dry and the skin can begin to flake, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains. People with breast cancer can experience sensations of tenderness or warmth across the nipple of the affected breast. These sensations can be uncomfortable and are typically accompanied by additional symptoms that spread across the breast tissue.

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Nipple Discharge

Nipple discharge can be a symptom of breast cancer in certain people, the NCI reports. This fluid discharge may stain or discolor a person's t-shirt or clothing, especially if it contains blood. People should discuss the appearance of any unusual nipple discharge with a physician.

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