What Do Lumps In My Breast Mean
Many conditions can cause lumps in the breast, including cancer. But most breast lumps are caused by other medical conditions. The two most common causes of breast lumps are fibrocystic breast condition and cysts. Fibrocystic condition causes noncancerous changes in the breast that can make them lumpy, tender, and sore. Cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that can develop in the breast.
Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website.
- Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website.
- CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance on other federal or private website.
Breast Cancer And Shoulder Blade Pain
Some women may feel back pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades before any other sign of breast cancer reveals itself. The discomfort is usually attributed to muscle pain, inflammation of the spine or stretching the tendon and ligaments in the back.
Its important to know that tumors will sometimes develop deep within the breast tissue of the chest and felt in the spine or ribcage. There is also the possibility of metasis, a malignant spreading of the disease to the ribs or spine.
For example, The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports about a patient who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and suffered from a severe back pain.5
The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association reported that metastatic bone disease secondary to breast cancer is a common cause of low back pain. The report stressed the need for further imaging in patients with a history of breast cancer and whose physical examination and plain film radiographs are inconclusive or suspicious.6
Surprising Signs Of Cancer
If you were to find a lump in your breast, you’d have it looked at, wouldn’t you? Well, odd or unfamiliar symptoms like swelling in your neck, skin sores that won’t heal, or unrelenting pain deserve the same sort of vigilance.
There’s no need to leap to hair-raising conclusionsWhat if it’s cancer?when it could easily be something else. But the sooner you get diagnosed, the quicker you and your doctor can take appropriate action.
“With all cancers, early diagnosis is key,” explains Stephen Rubin, MD, chief of the division of gynecologic oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, “so women ought to feel free to see their physician to have these things checked out.”
Depending on your symptoms, medical history, and physical exam results, your doctor may order specific diagnostic tests or procedures to look for cancer and determine if and how far it has spread.
We asked physicians specializing in head-and-neck, gynecologic, breast, blood, lung, skin, and other malignancies to describe little-known cancer symptoms women ought to know about. Some of these indicators are surprising and others are more intuitive, but none of them should ever be ignored.
You May Like: Did Anne Hathaway Have Breast Cancer
Lump On Head And Signs Of Tumour Am I Going Mad :
I hope someone can help, I found a lump on my head like one really can’t move it, went dr they said it’s nothing started getting headaches day after drs and then like pressure behind eyes,my ears sometimes feel like your on a plane, went back to drs they said its anxiety and lump is superficial and nothing and to stop stressing, day after this appointment I had tingles in my left arm and nausea !! Went back to dr he sent me hospital they checked me over and said it is anxiety and stress worrying about the lump, she said she don’t know what lump is but it’s not a tumour and a unnecessary to have a scan, so I did actually feel better after arm stopped tingling but then headaches changed from back of neck to between eyes!! And I just feel I am falling apart 10 days of headaches that only sometimes go with painkillers and this feeling behind my eyes, but they all say anxiety can it be just that?? I hope so the fear of it being a tumour is scary, I hope someone can help and put my mind at rest I just want these headaches to go!!
Keep going to the GP until you are satisfied. Most likely it is anxiety causing the issues.
If the specialists say it isnt a tumor then more often than not it isnt. Lumps can be anything from an infected lymph to fatty deposits to any number of non-tumor/cancer things. Most people have lumps of various types and sizes all over their body.
Hello I Usually Post On The
Hello I usually post on the breast cancer page but was reading around in here since mine has now developed into the liquid in my brain and spine. I had a ommaya resovor put in and have received 2 treatments in it so far. No one has given me an expiration date! and I dont want one. The spinal tap or lumbar puncture is very painful BUT they also pull fluid out of the ommaya port in my head which is not painful at all neither are the treatments. I had a seizure on May 29th and am still recovering from that so I am a little weak still and am walking with a walker and Im only 43 hope to be strong enough to get off the walker SOON!!! Have hope and help her fight!!!
Also Check: What Is The Prognosis For Stage 4 Breast Cancer
How Are Metastatic Brain Tumors Treated
Treating a brain tumor is usually only one step in treating metastatic cancer. At Yale Medicine, treatment is carefully coordinated among the neurosurgery, radiation oncology and medical oncology teams.
Traditionally, treatment for brain metastases involves radiation and surgery, since chemotherapy has limited ability to penetrate into the brain.
Patients whose brain scans reveal only a few metastases can be considered for a targeted radiation treatment called radiosurgery. At Yale Medicine, this treatment is delivered using a machine known as the Gamma Knife. If this procedure is appropriate, then imaging required for treatment, treatment planning and radiation delivery can all be done in one day. This has the advantage of minimizing interruption of chemotherapy.
For those with larger or more widespread brain tumors, Yale Medicine also offers the more comprehensive treatment options, including:
- Hippocampal sparing whole brain radiation therapy with memantine
- Surgical resection or laser ablation guided by use of MRI in the operating room
- Microsurgical resection of tumor
Lastly, for select patients, clinical trials are available for the treatment of newly diagnosed brain metastases using chemotherapy alone. At this time, this option is available for patients with lung and melanoma brain metastases.
Headache As A Side Effect Of Cancer And Cancer Treatment
Cancer leads to changes in your body. The following health problems that may develop when you have cancer may also cause headaches:
- Anemia, a low number of red blood cells
- Dehydration, caused by vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Hypercalcemia, a high level of calcium
- Infections, including sinusitis and meningitis
- Thrombocytopenia, a low platelet count
Cancer treatments associated with headaches include:
Medications used when you have cancer may cause headaches as a side effect. Among these medications are:
- Antiemetics, a type of medication that helps prevent or treat vomiting
- Certain heart medicines
- Bisphosphonates, which are a type of medication used to protect the bones
- Pain medications taken in large doses, which may cause a rebound headache, indicating that your body wants more of that medicine its also possible to develop a low-grade headache after using pain medicines for a long time
Finally, general emotional and physical side effects that are common with cancer may lead to a headache, such as:
Don’t Miss: How To Cure Breast Cancer With Baking Soda
Clinical Trial Demonstrates Focused Ultrasound Can Deliver Antibody Therapy To Breast Cancer Metastases In The Brain
MR images showing reduction in metastatic tumor size after focused ultrasound delivery of antibody therapy across the blood-brain barrier.Credits: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center
Researchers at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Canada, can use magnetic resonance -guided focused ultrasound to safely provide antibody therapy to breast cancer that has spread to the brain in the worlds first clinical trial. Demonstrated. ..
This Phase I clinical trial targets Her2-positive breasts cancer Patient, Sunny Brook team captured an image of the antibody Treatment, Trastuzumab , accurately target tumors brain After using Insightecs Exablate Neuro focus Ultrasonic device It opens the blood-brain barrier temporarily and non-invasively, allowing intravenous trastuzumab to gain more effective access to the tumor site.
Antibody therapy can help the immune system fight cancer cells and is often used in combination with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. However, BBB presents challenges when trying to target parts of the brain. BBB is a layer of cells that line the inside of blood vessels and protects the brain from viruses, bacteria, and other toxins, but reaches the brain in concentrations high enough for therapeutic agents such as trastuzumab to work. You can also prevent it.
These results set the stage of potential to offer both established and new treatments for many brain conditions that cannot otherwise gain access to the brain.
For more information:
How Will I Know If My Breast Cancer Spreads
Your doctor will use specific kinds of tests to find out if your cancer has gone to other places in your body. First, your doctor will want to know how youâre feeling. They will ask you about any symptoms youâre having and your overall health. They might also look at the size of your tumor and check your lymph nodes.
After that, the doctor may give you:
Blood tests. They look for signs of anything abnormal thatâs happening in your body. For example, results from a liver function test can let your doctor know that breast cancer may have gone to your liver. High levels of some substances in your blood hint that the cancer has spread to your bones.
Imaging scans. These tests make detailed pictures of the inside of your body. They help your doctor pinpoint any cancer spread. These tests include:
Read Also: How To Cure Breast Cancer With Baking Soda
How Breast Cancer Pain May Feel
If breast cancer is the cause of breast pain, it will often be present in only one breast, whereas benign breast pain is often on both sides.
Breast cancer pain can be persistent and very specific, usually hurting in just one spot. But, breast cancer can be present in your breast before it causes pain. If you have other symptoms of breast cancer, such as nipple retraction, sudden swelling of your breast, or sudden skin changes, consult your doctor for a clinical breast exam.
Survival Rates Of Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Unfortunately, cancer cells often become more difficult to treat and may develop drug resistance once they spread. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare , the 5-year survival rate for women whose breast cancer is metastatic at first diagnosis is 32%, compared to the 91% on average for all breast cancer patients.
Factors affecting survival rate of metastatic breast cancer
Survival rates can provide an estimate of what percentage of patients with the same stage of breast cancer are still alive after a certain period of time . However, they cannot predict how long any specific individual with breast cancer will live. The length of survival time for people with metastatic breast cancer can vary significantly from person to person, but there are a number of factors which can influence this including:
- Response to treatment
- The extent and location of metastases
- The presence of other health issues not related to cancer
- The specific subtype of breast cancer . This is very important, as some types of cancer can be more aggressive than others and respond differently to treatment.
You May Like: Do You Gain Weight With Breast Cancer
Research Into Advanced And Metastatic Breast Cancer
As metastatic breast cancer remains the leading cause of death from breast cancer, NBCF is committed to funding a broad spectrum of research that helps to further understand breast cancer metastasis, develop improved treatment options and enhance patient quality of life for those with metastatic breast cancer.
If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Breast
If you have radiation to the breast, it can affect your heart or lungs as well causing other side effects.
Short-term side effects
Radiation to the breast can cause:
- Skin irritation, dryness, and color changes
- Breast soreness
- Breast swelling from fluid build-up
To avoid irritating the skin around the breast, women should try to go without wearing a bra whenever they can. If this isnt possible, wear a soft cotton bra without underwires.
If your shoulders feel stiff, ask your cancer care team about exercises to keep your shoulder moving freely.
Breast soreness, color changes, and fluid build-up will most likely go away a month or 2 after you finish radiation therapy. If fluid build-up continues to be a problem, ask your cancer care team what steps you can take. See Lymphedema for more information.
Long-term changes to the breast
Radiation therapy may cause long-term changes in the breast. Your skin may be slightly darker, and pores may be larger and more noticeable. The skin may be more or less sensitive and feel thicker and firmer than it was before treatment. Sometimes the size of your breast changes it may become larger because of fluid build-up or smaller because of scar tissue. These side effects may last long after treatment.
After about a year, you shouldnt have any new changes. If you do see changes in breast size, shape, appearance, or texture after this time, tell your cancer care team about them right away.
Less common side effects in nearby areas
You May Like: What Percentage Of Breast Cancer Is Hereditary
If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Brain
People with brain tumors often get stereotactic radiosurgery if the cancer is in only one or a few sites in the brain. Side effects depend on where the radiation is aimed. Some side effects might show up quickly, but others might not show up until 1 to 2 years after treatment. Talk with your radiation oncologist about what to watch for and when to call your doctor.
If the cancer is in many areas, sometimes the whole brain is treated with radiation. The side effects of whole brain radiation therapy may not be noticeable until a few weeks after treatment begins.
Radiation to the brain can cause these short-term side effects:
- Trouble with memory and speech
Some of these side effects can happen because radiation has caused the brain to swell. Medicines are usually given to prevent brain swelling, but its important to let your cancer care team know about headaches or any other symptoms. Treatment can affect each person differently, and you may not have these particular side effects.
Radiation to the brain can also have side effects that show up later usually from 6 months to many years after treatment ends. These delayed effects can include serious problems such as memory loss, stroke-like symptoms, and poor brain function. You may also have an increased risk of having another tumor in the area, although this is not common.
Talk with your cancer care team about what to expect from your specific treatment plan.
Decrease In Blood Cell Counts:
Why it happens: Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body, white blood cells help fight infection, and platelets help stop bleeding. These normal, healthy cells divide rapidly, just like the cancer cells, which is why chemo often affects these benign cells in addition to the cancer cells.
How to handle anemia :
- Get at least eight hours of sleep each night
- Take short naps during the day
- Limit your activities by setting priorities of what you need to get completed for the day
- Accept help when your family and friends offer
- Eat a well-balanced diet that contains all the calories and protein your body needs to keep your weight up and repair tissues that have been harmed by the chemo
How to handle infections :
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Carry hand sanitizer
- Use sanitizing wipes to clean surfaces and items that you touch
- Be gentle and thorough when you wipe after a bowel movement
- Take good care of your skin and clean cuts right away
- Stay away from people who are sick or crowds
- Wash raw vegetables and fruits before eating them
- Do not eat raw or undercooked fish, seafood, meat, chicken, or eggs
- If you are a pet owner, have someone else clean up animal waste
- Do not get a flu shot or other vaccine without first checking with your cancer doctor or nurse.
How to handle a low platelet count:
Your doctor or nurse will order blood tests to find out your blood counts throughout your chemo treatment.
You May Like: How To Tell If Breast Cancer Has Metastasized
How Long Should Someone Wait Until They See A Doctor About Their Headache
“Remember that the vast majority of headaches are self-resolving and not a symptom of a serious underlying health condition. However, you should contact your doctor if you have a new severe headache or a headache that is different from your normal pattern of headaches,” says Dr. Lipinski. “For instance, headaches that are sudden and very severe are concerning and should be evaluated immediately. Headaches that wake you from sleep, are worse in the morning, progressively worsen and do not improve with over-the-counter medications, are worse with coughing or bending forward, or are associated with any other neurologic symptoms should prompt a visit to your doctor.”
The same precautions should be taken by those who have a previous cancer diagnosis. If you are currently in treatment for or are a survivor of any cancer, and you have a new headache that is severe or persistent, you should speak with your cancer doctor right away.