What Happens At The Breast Clinic
At the hospital or breast clinic, you may have a:
- breast examination
- scan usually a breast X-ray or ultrasound
- biopsy where a needle is inserted into the lump to remove some cells for testing
These tests are often done during the same visit. You’ll usually be told the results on the same day, although biopsy results take longer you may have to wait about a week.
Breast Cancer Now has more information about what to expect at a breast clinic appointment.
Treatment for a breast lump depends on the cause. Most are harmless and may go away on their own without treatment.
Being Overweight Or Obese
Women who are overweight after their menopause have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who are not overweight. Men also have an increased risk of breast cancer if they are overweight or obese. For both men and women, the risk increases as more weight is gained.
Body mass index is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out whether you are a healthy weight. For most adults, an ideal is between 18.5 to 24.9. Being overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30. Obesity means being very overweight with a BMI of 30 or higher.
Try to keep a healthy weight by being physically active and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer in women. The risk increases with each extra unit of alcohol per day. The number of units in a drink depends on the size of the drink, and the volume of alcohol.
The latest UK government guidelines advise drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
What Will The Doctor Do
Sometimes a doctor will discover a lump in a woman’s breast during a routine examination or a patient might come to the doctor with questions about a lump she found.
In other cases, a mammogram may find a lump in the breast that can’t be felt. A mammogram is a special kind of X-ray of the breast that helps doctors see what’s going on inside. Sometimes, other kinds of pictures, like an MRI, also can be taken.
When a lump is found, the doctor will want to test it. The best way to do this is usually with a biopsy. In a biopsy, a small amount of breast tissue is removed with a needle or during a small operation. Then, the tissue is examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells.
The biopsy may be benign , which means the lump is not cancer. If the biopsy shows cancer cells, the lump is malignant . If a breast lump does contains cancer cells, the woman, along with her doctor and family, will decide what to do next.
Don’t Miss: Is Weight Gain A Symptom Of Breast Cancer
What Does A Breast Lump Feel Like
Breast lumps can look and feel different depending on the type. They can be painful or painless, and may feel hard, soft, or rubbery under the skin. Some breast lumps are moveable and some are not. They can be many different sizes. It is important for girls and young women to be familiar with the normal shape of their breasts, so they can recognize if a lump appears.
Breast Lumps In Teenagers
It can be normal to feel lumps when your breasts are developing and these often disappear on their own.
If a lump causes you any discomfort, appears to get bigger or youre worried about it, talk to someone such as your GP. You may also want to talk to someone in your family or a school nurse.
Although its very unlikely that theres anything wrong, a doctor can check it out and should put your mind at rest. You can ask to see a female doctor or the practice nurse if this will make you feel more comfortable.
Very occasionally lumps are a sign of a benign breast condition. Benign means harmless, and a benign condition will not become a breast cancer. The most common benign lump as the breasts are developing is known as a fibroadenoma.
Recommended Reading: Hormone Therapy Metastatic Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Treatment In Teens
Treatment for breast cancer in teens depends on how far the disease has spread and the teens general health and personal circumstances. All of these factors play an important role in what steps are taken. Some of the treatment options include:
- Surgery In these cases, a lumpectomy or mastectomy is conducted. A lumpectomy includes the removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue. A mastectomy involves the removal of the whole breast. Depending on how far the disease has spread, either option may be best.
- Radiation This therapy is usually used following a lumpectomy. Using cancer-killing beams, radiation therapy targets undetected cancer cells further reducing the risk of cancer returning.
- Hormone This therapy is effective for those breast cancers that are affected by hormones in the blood. It utilizes drugs that block estrogen and/or progesterone.
- Chemotherapy This is usually administered after breast surgery but before radiation, and uses drugs directly injected into the vein via a needle or pill to target and kill cancer cells.
Risk Factors You Cant Control
- Sex: Women represent 99% of all breast cancer patients and have a 12.1% chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
- Age: The chances of getting breast cancer increase with age. About 65% of women are over 55 years old when they are diagnosed.
- Race: After age 45, white women are more likely to get breast cancer than black women, but black women have a higher incidence before age 45 and are more likely to die from breast cancer.
- Family history: Certain inherited gene mutations increase the risk of developing breast cancer. However, these genes account for only 5-10% of overall cases. Even without those genes, having a grandmother, mother, sister, or daughter diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer increases the risk.
Don’t Miss: Ductal Carcinoma Stage 3
What Is Benign Breast Disease
If you feel a lump in your breast, your first thought may be that you have breast cancer. Fortunately, a majority of breast lumps are benign, meaning theyre not cancerous.
Both women and men can develop benign breast lumps. This condition is known as benign breast disease. While these breast changes arent cancerous or life-threatening, they may increase your risk of developing breast cancer later on.
Types Of Breast Lumps That Teens Can Get
The most common type of breast cancer found in teens is secretory adenocarcinoma. This is generally a slow growing, nonaggressive cancer.
Though theres little chance of this type of cancer spreading to other parts of the body, spread to local lymph nodes has been noted in a few cases.
Most breast lumps in teenage girls are fibroadenomas, which are noncancerous. An overgrowth of connective tissue in the breast causes fibroadenomas.
The lump is usually hard and rubbery, and you can move it around with your fingers. Fibroadenomas account for 91 percent of all solid breast masses in girls younger than 19 years old.
Other less common breast lumps in teens include cysts, which are noncancerous fluid-filled sacs.
Banging or injuring breast tissue, possibly during a fall or while playing sports, can also cause lumps.
If you feel anything unusual in your breast, see your doctor. They will ask:
- about your familys medical history
- when you discovered the lump
- if theres nipple discharge
- if the lump hurts
If anything looks or feels suspicious, your doctor will have you undergo an ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to see into your breasts. It can help determine whether a lump is solid, which is an indication of cancer.
If its fluid-filled, that will most likely indicate a cyst. Your doctor may also insert a fine needle into the lump to draw out tissue and test it for cancer.
You May Like: Side Effects Of Hormone Blockers For Breast Cancer
Can Men Have Breast Lumps
Yes. Men can develop a condition called gynecomastia. The male breast becomes enlarged and sometimes tender. A breast lump may also form underneath the nipple. Gynecomastia often occurs in both breasts. This condition can be related to a hormonal imbalance or a side effect of medication, although additional workup may be considered to determine a cause. Most often, a cause is never determined it is called idiopathic.
Men can also develop breast cancer, so if you feel a lump in your breast, see your healthcare provider for an evaluation.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Benign Breast Disease
Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can cause breast lumps, tenderness and nipple discharge. Youre also more likely to experience benign breast changes or develop a breast infection called mastitis while breastfeeding. Breast changes during pregnancy or breastfeeding are rarely cancerous. Still, you should reach out to your healthcare provider when you notice any breast change.
Don’t Miss: What Stage 3 Cancer Means
Breasts And Birth Control
Some research has shown that taking hormonal birth control slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. But once you stop using hormonal birth control, risk levels eventually return to normal.
An analysis of data from more than 150,000 women showed that, overall, women who had ever used oral contraceptives had a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer compared with women who had never used oral contraceptives.
If you use hormonal birth control and youre concerned about your cancer risk, discuss your options with your doctor before stopping your birth control.
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About A Breast Lump
Breast tissue is naturally lumpy. If the lumpiness feels like the rest of your breast, or like your other breast, you probably dont need to worry. Call your healthcare provider if you notice:
- An unusual lump or mass in your breast or under your arm that feels harder than the rest of the breast or is different on one side as compared to the other.
- Other breast changes including nipple inversion , dimpled skin, or bloody/clear nipple discharge.
- Redness, pain or focal tenderness in your breast.
- Nipple changes such as excoriation or scaling.
Breast lumps have many causes. Most of the time, theyre not cancer. If you feel a breast lump or any other change in your breast, talk to your healthcare provider. They can figure out the cause of the lump and if you need treatment. Dont put off taking care of your breast health. If the lump is cancer, treatment is most successful if started early.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/14/2021.
Also Check: Tubular Breast Cancer Symptoms
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
- Other breast lumps
- Could be pregnant
- Change in shape or appearance of breast
- Nipple discharge that is clear or milky
- Breast pain and cause is unknown. Exception: continue if only occurs before menstrual periods or with vigorous exercise.
- Age 13 or older with no breast buds or breast tissue
- You have other questions or concerns
Causes Of Breast Cancer
No one knows the exact cause of breast cancer, but there are known risk factors such as:
- Changes to your genes: Known as genetic mutations
- Family history of breast cancer: If your mother or grandmother had breast cancer, you might be terrified you will get it too. But only about 5% to 10% of people diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of this disease.
- More dense breasts: Breasts with higher amounts of connective tissue vs. fat can mask cancers.
- Personal history of cancer
- Prior exposure to radiation: Young women who have had radiation therapy for another condition, like Hodgkin lymphoma, are especially at high risk.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese heightens the risk of breast cancer after menopause.
- Sedentary lifestyle
Some factors like smoking, obesity, and alcohol use are preventable factors, while others like older age and genetics are out of your control.
You May Like: Is Invasive Breast Cancer Curable
How Are Breast Lumps Treated
Treatment for a breast lump depends on the cause. Some lumps dont require any treatment.
Breast lump treatment includes:
- Antibiotics for a breast infection.
- Fluid drainage for a breast cyst .
- Excisional biopsy to remove a mass .
- Cancer treatment if the lump is biopsy-proven breast cancer. Cancer therapies may include lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Puberty And Overlapping Breast Cancer Symptoms
When breasts begin to grow, they appear as a lump underneath the nipple. This is a normal part of the development process.
The breasts get bigger and rounder as the fatty tissue and milk-producing glands inside the breasts continue to grow. As the breast buds grow, you may notice tingling, aching, or itching in your chest, and your nipples may swell or become tender.
After your periods start, the changing hormones may make your breasts feel tender, swollen, or sore a week or so just before your period starts. This is all normal.
You May Like: Breast Cancer Growth Rate
When To See A Doctor For A Breast Lump
Girls and young women should see a doctor if:
- They develop a painful lump on their breast
- They find a painless lump on their breast that doesnt go away for several weeks
Most of the time there is little to worry about when a child develops a breast lump, but it should still be examined by a doctor.
Treating Breast Cancer In Men
Treatment for breast cancer in men largely depends on how far the cancer has spread.
Most hospitals use multidisciplinary teams to treat men with breast cancer. These are teams of specialists who work together to make decisions about the best way to proceed with your treatment.
Before visiting hospital to discuss your treatment options, you may find it useful to write a list of questions you’d like to ask the specialist. For example, you could ask about the advantages and disadvantages of particular treatments.
You May Like: Whats The Youngest You Can Get Breast Cancer
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
If you have benign breast disease, you may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is the best treatment for me?
- Am I at risk for more breast lumps?
- How frequently should I get a mammogram or other cancer screening?
- How can I lower my risk of breast cancer?
- Should I use a different birth control method?
- Can I use hormone replacement therapy?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Its hard not to panic when you discover a breast lump. Fortunately, most lumps arent cancerous. Your healthcare provider can order the appropriate tests to determine whats causing benign breast disease. Most people dont need treatment lumps go away on their own. If you have a benign condition that increases your chances of developing breast cancer later on, talk to your provider about preventive measures and screenings.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/22/2020.
Breast Cancer As A Teenager
I suppose the title says it all, but I am fourteen and have been diagnosed with breast cancer I have also have been told that they cannot operate until 16, or perform a mammogram until 16 either… fighting a losing battle against my own body I suppose?
I am so sorry to hear about your breast cancer diagnosis at such a young age. Can you have any treatment in the meantime, or do you have to wait until you are 16 for that too?
Try to continue to stay as fit as you can and eat a good healthy diet. Is there any cancer in your family, or are you just unfortuate?
I hope that something can be done to help you before your 16th birthday.
I’m just so sorry to hear that you are going through this at all, nevermind at such a young age. Are you 14 or 15? Its just that I saw one of your other posts and you said you were 15, I get brain fog so excuse me being confused! Haha. But I saw your other post, where your mum was diagnosed with breast cancer too. I really don’t know what to say, my mum has an aggressive form of breast cancer too, and I myself am bed bound, which I know is a lot different to cancer, but I just want you to know that I understand what it’s like when your mum has cancer and when you’re ill yourself. Much like yourself, my mum is my best friend, so it’s been such a heartbreaking time since her diagnosis.
You May Like: Can Nipple Piercings Cause Breast Lumps
What Should A Teenage Girl Do If She Finds A Lump In Her Breast
- Loyola University Health System
- If a lump is found in the breast of an adolescent girl, she often will undergo an excisional biopsy. However, breast cancer is rare in adolescents, and the vast majority of teenage breast lumps are benign. A recent study suggests that a breast ultrasound might eliminate the need for biopsy in many cases.
If a lump is found in the breast of an adolescent girl, she often will undergo an excisional biopsy.
However, breast cancer is rare in adolescents, and the vast majority of teenage breast lumps turn out to be benign masses that are related to hormones.
A recent Loyola University Health System study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology suggests that a breast ultrasound examination might eliminate the need for biopsy in many cases.
Loyola radiologists performed ultrasound examinations on 20 girls ages 13 to 19 who had lumps in their breasts, including one girl who had a lump in each breast. The ultrasound studies indicated that 15 of the 21 lumps appeared to be benign, while and six were suspicious.
Follow-up biopsies or clinical examinations found that all 21 lumps were benign. These findings suggest that if a breast ultrasound finds nothing suspicious, the patient likely does not need to have an excisional biopsy, said lead author Dr. Aruna Vade, a professor in the Department of Radiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.