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Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) generally does not cause symptoms, and is most commonly discovered in screening mammograms. Occasionally, women with DCIS may present with a breast lump or bloody nipple discharge. Breast cancer is otherwise usually painless and there may be no symptoms in the early phase when breast cancer first develops.

When the cancer grows, signs and symptoms may develop and they can include:

  • A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast
  • A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple
  • A change in the nipple or areola, such as a persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast)