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What are the symptoms of HER2-positive breast cancer?

The physical symptoms of HER2-positive breast cancer can be the same as for most types of breast cancer. If your doctor thinks you might have breast cancer, he or she is likely to take a biopsy (a sample of your breast tissue). If the biopsy shows you have cancer, a laboratory test can determine whether or not the cancer is HER2-positive -- meaning that the cells contain abnormally high levels of the HER2 protein, which can cause them to grow and spread faster than other types of cancer cells.

Many breast cancers are diagnosed before a woman notices any symptoms, through tests like mammograms. But you should call your doctor right away if you notice any of the following possible symptoms of breast cancer:
  • a new lump or mass in your breast or armpit
  • swelling of all or part of a breast 
  • breast skin that appears red, irritated, scaly and/or dimpled
  • breast or nipple pain
  • unusual nipple discharge (possibly bloody or pus-like yellow or green fluid)
  • nipple retraction (turning inward)
  • bone pain, weight loss, arm swelling or skin ulcers (symptoms of more advanced breast cancer)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.