The American Cancer Society estimates that 246 660 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the USA alone by the end of the year, with about 40 450 reported deaths at the same time. Breast cancer is one of the most common and deadliest cancer types in women, and about 1 out of every 8 women develop the disease in their lifetime. Detecting the early signs of breast cancer is of utmost importance in hope of catching the disease before it develops.

Here are the 5 most common early breast cancer symptoms:

A new mole or a change in an existing mole

Although moles are associated with increased risk of skin cancer, they are also related to breast cancer. A recent study examined 89 902 women aged 40-65 who were monitored for a period of 18 years. Their moles were documented at the beginning of the study as well. 5 956 of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and the study found that women who had moles on their breasts had a 13% higher risk of cancer than the women without moles. If you notice a new mole on your breast, or a change in an existing one, you should immediately visit your doctor.

A cough that doesn’t go away

Primary cancer is a cancer that grows in a certain area, but if some cells from it break away and move on to another part of the body, they can form a tumor called secondary cancer. Breast cancer, for example, can spread to the lungs and cause cough or hoarseness which doesn’t go away. About 60-70% of terminally ill breast cancer patients had their cancer spread to the lungs and they also reported symptoms such as shortness of breath and dry cough.

Changes in the bladder or bowel movements

Breast cancer causes hormonal changes which affect the urethra and dry it out, while causing bladder difficulties at the same time. The common symptoms are leaking urine during coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising, as well as frequent and sudden need to urinate and longer urination. If you have notices any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately!


Fatigue is a common symptom of many types of cancer, including breast cancer. It’s often present even before the disease is diagnosed, and this symptom is not relieved by sleeping or rest. The fatigue can become severe and is associated with high distress levels. Cancer-related fatigue is also accompanied by pain, sleep problems and depression, and experts believe that it is caused by chemical imbalance in the body due to the cancer.

Unexplained back pain

Back pain is a common medical issue, with 8 out of 10 people experiencing it during their lifetime. However, it is also associated with breast cancer. It may feel like pressure on the ribs and spine, or pain in the upper back that’s coming from the bones. It could also mean that the cancer has spread to your bones.