Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeTrendingBreast Cancer Lump Look Like

Breast Cancer Lump Look Like

An Especially Aggressive Form Of Breast Cancer Can Cause The Appearance Of Bruising On The Breasts

Breast Cancer : What Does a Breast Cancer Lump Feel Like?

So how do you tell the difference between the bruise-like area of this kind of cancer and that of a benign bruise from skin trauma?

This sign tends to happen in a less common and aggressive forms of cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, and the skin change is caused by the tumor cells blocking proper lymphatic drainage in the skin, explains Mylaine Riobe, MD, founder of Riobe Institute of Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Riobe, board certified in OB/GYN and integrative medicine, is the author of The Answer to Cancer.

It can also make the skin appear like an orange peel and this is called peau dorange, says Dr. Riobe.

A bruise from skin trauma follows a predictable course.

The skin that covers the breasts is no different than the skin that, say, covers your legs.

A bruise on your breast from an external source will progress and appear the same as bruises on your legs, butt or arm.

Bruising from External Trauma

  • 7-10 days: yellow

Normal bruise. Shutterstock/Stephane Bidouze

It can take about two weeks for a typical bruise to vanish, though big ugly ones from more forceful trauma will take longer but theyll still follow a predictable course.

Inflammatory breast cancer affects one percent of all BC cases in the U.S. yearly. This means about 2,300 new cases/year, making it a rare disease.

Scar Tissue Can Often Appear Suspicious

The image below contains a lesion with irregular, spiculated There does not appear to be a central mass to this lesion, which right away makes it less likely to be breast cancer. However, something this suspicious would likely need a biopsy to find out exactly what is going on. This lesion is more likely to be either a post-surgical scar or possibly a radial scar. In actual fact this particular image was taken from a woman who had breast surgery, so a post-surgical scar is the most probable diagnosis.

A closer look via magnification of the same lesion reveals a central radio-transparency likely caused by fat necrosis, and there is no central mass.

The spiculations around the lesion are likely a desmoplastic reaction to the surgery. .

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms

Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer rarely causes breast lumps and may not appear on a mammogram. Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen, itchy breast that is tender to the touch
  • The surface of the breast may take on a ridged or pitted appearance, similar to an orange peel
  • Heaviness, burning, or aching in one breast
  • One breast is visibly larger than the other
  • Inverted nipple
  • No mass is felt with a breast self-exam
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the arm and/or above the collarbone
  • Symptoms unresolved after a course of antibiotics

Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer usually does not cause a distinct lump in the breast. Therefore, a breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, or even a mammogram may not detect inflammatory breast cancer. Ultrasounds may also miss inflammatory breast cancer. However, the changes to the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.

Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer can develop rapidly, and the disease can progress quickly. Any sudden changes in the texture or appearance of the breast should be reported to your doctor immediately.

For women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, redness, swelling, itchiness and soreness are often signs of a breast infection such as mastitis, which is treatable with antibiotics. If you are not pregnant or nursing and you develop these symptoms, your doctor should test for inflammatory breast cancer.

Read Also: How Severe Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer

Signs Of Cancerous Breast Tumors

Though most breast lumps are benign, some do turn out to be cancerous. If a tumor is cancerous, it will continue to grow and invade normal nearby tissue. If it isnt treated, it can spread to other areas in the body.

Most cancerous breast tumors first appear as single, hard lumps or thickening under the skin. Other signs to watch for include a change in nipple appearance, nipple secretions, nipple tenderness, and a dimpling or puckering of the skin.

About half of cancerous breast lumps appear in the upper, outer quadrant of the breast, extending into the armpit. About 18 percent of breast cancer tumors show up in the nipple area. Around 11 percent are found in the lower quadrant, and 6 percent are located in the lower, inner quadrant.

RELATED: What Is an Ovarian Cyst? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms


Metastatic breast cancer symptoms depend on the part of the body to which the cancer has spread and its stage. Sometimes, metastatic disease may not cause any symptoms.

  • If the breast or chest wall is affected, symptoms may include pain, nipple discharge, or a lump or thickening in the breast or underarm.
  • If the bones are affected, symptoms may include pain, fractures, constipation or decreased alertness due to high calcium levels.
  • If tumors form in the lungs, symptoms may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, coughing, chest wall pain or extreme fatigue.
  • If the liver is affected, symptoms may include nausea, extreme fatigue, increased abdominal girth, swelling of the feet and hands due to fluid collection and yellowing or itchy skin.
  • If breast cancer spreads to the brain or spinal cord and forms tumors, symptoms may include pain, confusion, memory loss, headache, blurred or double vision, difficulty with speech, difficulty with movement or seizures.

Read Also: What Chemotherapy Is Used For Breast Cancer

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ

Lobular carcinoma in situ refers to an area of abnormal cells confined to the breasts milk-producing glands.

Because these cells do not spread to surrounding tissues, doctors do not lobular carcinoma situ to be cancer. However, it can increase the chances of developing other types of invasive breast cancer.

This condition rarely causes symptoms. Doctors lobular carcinoma in situ during a breast biopsy for another problem in the breast area. In some cases, tiny white specs of calcium called microcalcifications appear on a routine mammogram.

S Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Home » Pictures of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

There are images below are graphic medical photos of inflammatory breast cancer.We are sharing these photos for educational purposes.

We hear a great deal about prevention and early detection in cancer. While cancer prevention may never be 100 percent effective, many things can greatly reduce a persons risk for developing cancer, the causes for IBC are unknown and there is not a form of detection prior to a stage three.

This lack of early detection can cause great emotional stress, so it is important that if you are diagnosed with IBC to understand your late stage diagnosis was not your fault. There is not a way to know you have IBC until the outward physical signs are presented.

Recommended Reading: Untreated Breast Cancer Life Expectancy

Other Symptoms Of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Redness covering a large surface area of the breast may come and go.

Swelling, which may involve only part of the breast.

Unusual warmth, aching or tenderness.

Appearance of hives, welts or bug bites.

Unusual inversion or flattening of the nipple.

Any other frightening appearance of the skin, including a surface that resembles an orange peel.

Trust your gut if you begin feeling uneasy at what youre seeing. Its reassuring if you recall a recent collision of something with your breast.

Keep a close eye on any new bruise for suspicious changes.

Inflammatory breast cancer is sometimes misdiagnosed as eczema! Get a second opinion if this is your diagnosis and your gut is doubtful.

Dr. Riobe has helped thousands of patients overcome difficult illnesses by addressing root causes, not just masking symptoms. She has over 15 years experience using integrative techniques to treat diverse patients.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.

When To Contact A Doctor

Understanding What Breast Lumps May Feel Like | UCHealth

A person should contact a doctor if they experience any symptoms that may indicate breast cancer. Most lumps are not cancerous, but a doctor can help rule this out.

Screening can help detect changes before a lump becomes noticeable. At this stage, breast cancer is easier to treat.

Current guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommend that females speak with a doctor about breast cancer screening from the age of 40 years. They also recommend that females at average risk of breast cancer have a mammogram every 2 years from 5074 years of age.

People with a higher risk, such as those with a family history of breast cancer, may need more regular screening.

It is worth noting that different authorities, such as the

Also Check: Where Can I Get Tested For Breast Cancer

What Is The Prognosis For People With Inflammatory Breast Cancer

IBC usually develops quickly and spreads to other tissues outside the breast. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing the condition as effectively as possible.

Doctors use a system made up of four stages to diagnose all types of cancer. IBC is stage III or stage IV when it is diagnosed.

Because IBC is aggressive, and because it is found later than other cancers, the outlook for people with this condition is generally not as good as for other types of breast cancer. Still, some people have lived many years after an IBC diagnosis. Your doctor can explain your individual prognosis to you.

What Is Usually The First Sign Of Breast Cancer

The common signs of breast cancer include:

  • A lump in the breast or in the armpits is often the first sign of breast cancer. This may be felt while in the shower. There may or may not be changes in the structure of the breast. Axillary swelling may indicate that cancer from the breast has traveled to the lymph nodes, and now there may be a lymph node invasion.

Apart from above signs below are few other sign and symptoms:

  • Changes in the nipple area, nipple retraction and inverted nipple are common warning signs of breast cancer
  • Bleeding from the nipple may be limited and difficult to see, but if an individual notices blood stains on the bra, or if the secretions are unusual, bloody or continuous, they may need urgent medical attention.
  • Change in color and/or thickening of skin on the breast that resembles an orange rind is a warning sign of breast cancer. If the breast skin changes color, typically to a pink or reddish hue that covers more than half the breast that may also be a warning sign.
  • A non-healing sore anywhere on the breast, including the nipple with or without bleeding may be a warning sign of breast cancer
  • Increased warmth in the breast with change in size and appearance of breast is a sign of breast cancer.

Recommended Reading: What Causes Hormonal Breast Cancer

How Are Fibroadenomas Diagnosed And Treated

Your healthcare provider may diagnose this type of lump simply by feeling it. But, he or she will want to confirm the diagnosis with a mammogram or ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration. Sometimes, in very young women, the fibroadenoma is not removed. However, since sometimes these tumors enlarge with pregnancy and breastfeeding, your provider may suggest having it surgically removed.

While most fibroadenomas do not lead to cancer, there is a type of fibroadenoma that has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly in women with a family history of the disease.

Redness On Breast Or Nipple

What Does Breast Cancer Lump Feel Like

The presence of cancerous cells in the breast can manifest in the form of skin discoloration. If your breasts look bruised or not quite the color they should be, it could be another symptom of breast cancer.

Cancer can result in many changes to your skin, not only discoloration. A change in the texture of the skin on the breast and around the nipple is a warning sign. Itchiness may accompany these changes as well. However, changes in skin color or texture could also be the symptoms of a benign skin condition, so a checkup by a professional is always your best bet.

The first symptom of breast cancer you should have checked out straight away is dimpling. It refers to the bumpy, pitted look that the skin of your breast can have, making it look like the skin of an orange. This phenomenon occurs due to a buildup of lymph fluid and can be one of the first signs of an aggressive type of cancer called inflammatory breast cancer.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Highest Stage Of Breast Cancer

Things Your Doctor Might Find

Some key clues to your breast health can only be spotted with medical tests. Thatâs why itâs important to keep up with any breast screening tests and checkups your doctor recommends.

Calcifications. These are bits of calcium in your breast tissue. Theyâre not cancer, but sometimes they can be a sign of it. A mammogram spots them. Calcifications show up in the image as bright white spots or flecks.

Bigger spot or dashes called macrocalcifications are usually caused by harmless conditions, and theyâre common after you turn 50.

Smaller specks, called microcalcifications, may be a clue that you have cancer or a higher risk for it. Theyâre more suspicious if they vary a lot in size or shape or appear in tight clusters. If your mammogram shows these, your doctor may recommend a biopsy. That’s when a specialist uses a needle to take a sample of breast tissue to have it checked for cancer.

Atypical hyperplasia. Your doctor might find this condition with a biopsy. Atypical hyperplasia means you have abnormal cells in your breast tissue. There are two main types, and neither is a sign of breast cancer. But both types are tied to higher odds of getting the disease later on. If you have it, your doctor may recommend follow-up tests or medicine to lower your chances for breast cancer.

Show Sources

Up to Date: âClinical manifestations, differential diagnosis, and clinical evaluation of a palpable breast mass,â âCommon problems of breastfeeding and weaning.â

Cu Cancer Center Member Anosheh Afghahi Md Explains Whats Going On And How Doctors Are Dealing With The Problem

The COVID-19 vaccines are beginning to significantly slow the spread of the virus, but the Pfizer and Moderna and vaccines are having an unforeseen consequence for breast cancer doctors. The vaccines often cause swelling in the armpit or underarm that can mimic the lumps associated with breast cancer, causing some women undue concern.

Medical oncologist and University of Colorado Cancer Center member Anosheh Afghahi, MD, has encountered the problem in her own practice in the following discussion she explains what is happening and what providers are doing about it.

Recommended Reading: Can Breast Cancer Cause Heart Palpitations

How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Your healthcare provider will perform a breast examination and ask about your family history, medical history and any existing symptoms. Your healthcare provider will also recommend tests to check for breast abnormalities. These tests may include:

  • Mammogram. These special X-ray images can detect changes or abnormal growths in your breast. A mammogram is commonly used in breast cancer prevention.
  • Ultrasonography. This test uses sound waves to take pictures of the tissues inside of your breast. Its used to help diagnose breast lumps or abnormalities.
  • Positron emission tomography scanning: A PET scan uses special dyes to highlight suspicious areas. During this test, your healthcare provider injects a special dye into your veins and takes images with the scanner.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging : This test uses magnets and radio waves to produce clear, detailed images of the structures inside of your breast.

If your healthcare provider sees anything suspicious on the imaging tests, they may take a biopsy of your breast tissue. Theyll send the sample to a pathology lab for analysis.

How Information Collected About You Is Used

What Does a Breast Cancer Lump Feel Like?

Information about your use of the Services may be used for the following purposes:

  • to provide, improve and create new Services,
  • to respond to your inquiries and to send you administrative communications about the WebMD Sites and Services,
  • to obtain your feedback about the WebMD Sites and Services,
  • to send you secure electronic messages and personalized emails pertaining to your interests as inferred from your use of the Services, including news, announcements, reminders and opportunities from WebMD,
  • to statistically analyze trends and user behavior and activity including how frequently areas of the WebMD Sites are visited, how the Services are being used and how many emails are received and opened,
  • to provide you and people with similar demographic characteristics and interests with more relevant content including advertising both on and off the WebMD Sites and Apps,
  • to offer lead generation services,
  • to detect and defend against fraud and other threats to the Services and our users,
  • to identify issues with the Services,
  • to conduct research and measurement activities, including those described below, and
  • to administer your account.

In addition, WebMD may use personal information about you for other purposes that are disclosed to you at the time we collect the information and/or with your consent.

Also Check: Will I Lose My Hair With Chemo For Breast Cancer

What Complications Are Associated With Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Treatment for IBC can bring its own set of complications, such as lymphedema after removal of lymph nodes.

Because IBC develops so quickly, the condition has usually spread to other tissues by the time it is diagnosed. This metastasis can create a need for additional treatment to other areas of the body. IBC is also more likely to recur compared to other forms of breast cancer.


Popular Articles