Symptoms of breast cancer can come in other forms apart from the presence of a lump, experts say.
Experts say one in six women have symptoms not related to a swelling.
The symptoms of 2,300 women who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer were examined by researchers from the University College, London.
Women with non-lump symptoms were reported to have been less likely to visit their doctor.
“This research shows that, all too often, women are delaying going to their doctor with symptoms of breast cancer,” said Karen Kennedy, a director of the National Cancer Research Institute.
“This could be because people are simply unaware that breast cancer can present in many different ways, not just through the presence of a lump.
“With a disease like breast cancer, it’s essential to be diagnosed as early as possible so that a treatment plan can be developed and started,” she added.
The researchers will present their work at the ongoing National Cancer Research Institute conference in Liverpool.
The other signs women need to take cognizance of include; swellings in the armpit, an infection of the breast tissue, nipple changes (rashes, bleeding or discharge) and sores on the skin of the breasts.