Nov 10, 2026: A new research says that almost 17 percent women, which is one in six women, diagnosed with breast cancer go to their doctor with a symptom other than a lump. On the same note, lump is the most commonly reported breast cancer symptom.
Breast symptoms, other than a breast lump, that may be a sign of cancer, termed ‘non-lump’ in the study; include nipple abnormalities, breast pain, skin abnormalities, ulceration, shape abnormalities and an infected or inflamed breast.
Researchers from UCL examined the data of more than 2,300 women diagnosed with breast cancer in England in 2009/10. They found that, although most women with breast cancer sought help quickly, those with ‘non-lump’ symptoms were more likely to delay going to their doctor compared with women with a breast lump alone.
Women with both a breast lump and ‘non-lump’ symptoms were also more likely to delay seeking help.
Women presenting with breast ulceration, nipple abnormalities, breast infection or inflammation, swollen arm or armpit, and pain in the armpit were more likely to wait longer than three months to seek help.
The research used data from 2009/10 National Audit of Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care. There are more than 53,600 breast cancers diagnosed in the UK every year and 11,400 deaths from the disease annually.
Monica Koo, presenting author based at UCL, said, “Our research shows around one in six women diagnosed with breast cancer have symptoms other than a breast lump. These women are more likely to delay going to the doctor compared to women with breast lump alone.”