What Does A Breast Lump Feel Like
In general, cancerous breast lumps tend to be more irregular in shape. They may also feel firm or solid, and might be fixed to the tissue in the breast. They are also often painless. However, in a small percentage of women, a painful breast lump turns out to be cancer.
Breast cancer lumps can vary in size. Typically, a lump has to be about one centimeter before a person can feel it; however, it depends on where the lump arises in the breast, how big the breast is, and how deep the lesion is.
When You Should See A Doctor
A best practice is to see your healthcare provider if you have any health concerns. However,;many symptoms of breast cancer;can also be symptoms of hormonal changes, especially due to menstruation.
If you notice that your breasts get tender and lumpy around the start or end of your menstrual cycle, thats normal. Everyones body reacts differently to changes in hormone levels.
If your breasts tend to hurt or the skin of your breasts is itchy or red and you cannot link the symptoms to anything external;;for example, if your bra is not the right size, it can result in painful breasts;;its best to book an appointment with your health care provider.
Injuries and trauma can also lead to symptoms that look like breast cancer, but are often easily treatable. A prior infection in the breasts, for example, could lead to discoloration or tenderness.
You should always get unusual lumps checked out, but they are not a confirmed sign of breast cancer. Lumps can be a sign of cysts or a fibrocystic breast condition, both of which are treatable. However, unusual lumps in your breast, coupled with changes in skin texture or changes in the shape of your nipples, warrant medical expertise.
Early Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Lumps are the most common symptom of breast cancer, but cancerous lumps feel different than benign lumps. Like lumps, several other signs that could warn of breast cancer;may just be the result of hormonal changes.
Self-exams are a smart strategy, since they allow you to get more familiar with your breasts, which then makes you more likely to identify any changes that are out of the ordinary for you. Knowing whats normal for you is crucial, but so is knowing what is abnormal for anyone.
Here are some of the most obvious signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
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Breast Lumps: Why Size Movability And Pain Matter
Your breasts are made up of fat, nerves, blood vessels, fibrous connective tissue, and glandular tissue, as well as an intricate system of milk-producing lobules , and ducts . This anatomy in and of itself creates a lumpy, uneven terrain.
A lump in the breast distinguishes itself from this background of normal irregularities. Harmless breast lumps can be solid and unmovable, like a dried bean; or movable, soft, and fluid-filled you can roll it between your fingers like a grape. A lump may be pea-size, smaller than a pea, or even several inches across, although this larger size is rare.
What typically differentiates a benign breast lump from a cancerous breast lump is movement. That is, a fluid-filled lump that rolls between the fingers is less likely to be cancerous than a hard lump in your breast that feels rooted in place.
Another rule of thumb has to do with pain. Breast cancer does not usually cause pain. Benign conditions sometimes do, although there are exceptions to this rule as well. For instance, a rare form of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, may cause symptoms such as aching, tenderness, pain, or burning in the breast.
The only way to know the status of a lump for sure is through medical tests, such as;an ultrasound, a mammogram, or a fine needle aspiration , in which your doctor uses a tiny needle to extract a bit of the lump for laboratory examination.
How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Diagnosed
Lumps usually do not form with inflammatory breast cancer, making the condition harder to diagnose. A mammogram usually does not identify IBC.
Your doctor diagnoses IBC based on your symptoms, a physical examination, and test results. In some cases, doctors rule out other issues that may cause similar symptoms, like infections of the breast tissue . Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat a suspected infection. Let your doctor know immediately if antibiotics do not resolve your symptoms.
To confirm your diagnosis, your doctor takes a tissue sample for further evaluation in a laboratory. The biopsy results allow your doctor to stage the cancer, or determine whether it has spread outside the breast tissue. Biopsies also help doctors discover whether cancer cells may benefit from certain targeted therapies, like hormone drugs.
Your doctor may also order one of these tests to determine whether IBC has spread to other tissues:
- Mammogram: A screening test using low-energy X-rays to create a picture of the inside of the breast
- Ultrasound: Sound waves create pictures of the interior of breasts
- Positron emission tomography : Uses dye containing radioactive drugs to view internal structures and check for diseases
- Computed tomography : Takes several X-rays of the breast, combining them to create a cross-sectional image
- Magnetic resonance imaging : Using radio waves, magnets and a computer, this imaging technique forms pictures of interior body structures and processes
- Bone scan
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Addressing Oral Side Effects And Complications During Chemotherapy
Undergoing breast cancer treatment is challenging enough, and dealing with oral side effects impacts your quality of life. Your dentist can suggest oral rinses, lozenges, sprays, toothpastes, chewing gum, and more to address these side effects. Many of products contain xylitol to combat bacteria, like Xylimelts, lozenges that slowly dissolve and can be used day or night to treat dry mouth.
Chemotherapy suppresses the immune system, lowering your natural protection against infection, so its important to resolve dental problems before beginning cancer treatment. Complete any necessary dental work and have your teeth cleaned about a month before beginning chemotherapy or radiation.
Gentle oral hygiene is the key to avoiding infections in the mouth, which are particularly dangerous in combination with a suppressed immune system.
- Use a very soft toothbrush, or even a sponge brush, to avoid damaging the gums, which may be tender and inflamed from treatment
- Floss gently to avoid causing bleeding
- Only use alcohol-free rinses, and avoid rinses with saccharin. Mouthwashes with alcohol can dry out your mouth further. A mouthwash containing xylitol will help decrease the overall bacteria in your mouth
- If you wear dentures, be sure that they fit well and that you keep them very clean
Types Of Breast Cancer
There are two categories that reflect the nature of breast cancer:
- Noninvasive cancer is cancer that hasnt spread from the original tissue. This is referred to as stage 0.
- Invasive cancer is cancer thats spread to surrounding tissues. These are categorized as stages 1, 2, 3, or 4.
The tissue affected determines the type of cancer:
- Ductal carcinoma is a cancer that forms in the lining of the milk ducts. This is the most common type of breast cancer.
- Lobular carcinoma is cancer in the lobules of the breast. The lobules are where milk is produced.
- Sarcoma is cancer in the breasts connective tissue. This is a rare type of breast cancer.
When you visit your doctor with concerns about breast pain, tenderness, or a lump, there are common tests they might perform.
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Common Causes Of Benign Breast Lumps
Most benign breast lumps and conditions are directly related to your menstrual cycle, to fluctuations in your hormones, and to the fluid buildup that comes with your monthly period. Other benign breast lumps and conditions may be related to plugged milk ducts, infections, or even breast injuries. The risk for benign breast conditions increases for women who have never had children and those who have a history of irregular menstrual cycles or a family history of breast cancer.
Here are some of the most common benign breast conditions.
Fibrocystic changes;These changes cause a general lumpiness that can be described as ropy or granular, and affect at least half of all women. Symptoms of fibrocystic change include tender, fibrous, rubbery tissue; a thickening of tissue; or a round, fluid-filled cyst. These changes, which are related to hormonal fluctuation, may increase as you approach middle age and disappear with menopause. Sometimes doctors recommend limiting salt and caffeine consumption to ease fluid buildup. Birth control pills may also ease symptoms.
Mastitis;An infection of the milk duct, mastitis can create a lumpy, red, and warm breast, accompanied by fever. It occurs most commonly in women who are breastfeeding, but can occur in non-breastfeeding women as well. Treatment involves warm compresses and antibiotics. Because these symptoms are similar to inflammatory breast cancer, if they occur in a non-breastfeeding woman a doctor may want to do a biopsy.
Statistics On Breast Cancer & Pain
A breast tumora hard clump of breast cancer cellsusually doesn’t usually cause breast pain unless it reaches the size of two centimeters in diameter or greater. But a tumor can be larger than two centimeters and still not cause pain.
In fact,only about 5% to 15% of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer complain of breast pain. Only 7% of those diagnosed with breast cancer seek a doctor because of breast pain, excluding other symptoms.
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Breast Or Nipple Pain As A Symptom Of Breast Cancer
Breast or nipple pain is a feeling of discomfort, tenderness, or affliction in any part of the breast or underarm region. It may occur for;numerous reasons, and is;usually not related to cancer. Although many women with pain in one or both breasts may be concerned that it is breast cancer, breast pain is NOT commonly a;symptom;of cancer, the National Breast Cancer Foundation;reports. There are a number of harmless causes for breast pain and tenderness that may primarily be related to changes in hormone levels.
Causes of;breast or nipple pain include puberty, menstruation and premenstrual syndrome , pregnancy, recent;childbirth, menopause,;fibrocystic breasts,;or the use of certain;medications. When breast or nipple pain is related to cancer, it;is the result of;some degree of inflammation. Patients should consult with a;healthcare provider when breast or nipple pain is accompanied by other symptoms, including a breast lump or mass, swelling of all or part of a breast, skin irritation or dimpling, nipple retraction, nipple discharge other than breast milk, or redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin.
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.
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Lump In Breast Hurts Or Painful Lump In Breast
Conditions whereby one develops lumps on the breast, or hard lump inside the breast are very common. This usually depends on which period a woman is experiencing these symptoms. For example, when a teenage girl begins to develop breasts, during menstrual periods and pregnancy, women usually experience numerous kinds of breast pain associated with other changes. These lumps on breast are usually painful but not always.Therefore, a lump on breast associated with a lot of pain is a common condition in women. Those lumps that occur during pregnancy are not usually painful. Also, older women rarely experience a painful lump in their breast. Although pain is usually a point of concern, breast cancer does not base on pain as the only symptom.
What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer Beside A Lump
Commonly, a lump on breast is associated with a lump or a mass that is hard to touch and it is usually irregular in shape. Also, breast cancer causes your lymph nodes in the armpit to swell up. For breast cancer, you can carry out a self-check up by running your opposite hand on the chest from up to down while the hand on the affected side is carried up. In this case, you will end up feeling a sharp pain every moment you touch the area where the lump is to develop.Breast cancer has much more symptoms that you should observe apart from a mass or lump on breast. A part from a lump, you have to watch out the following symptoms for breast cancer:
- The affected breast nipple may turn inwards or retracted
- The area around the lump appear red, scaling or thickening of the nipple
- Change in texture of the breast skin
- A clear or bloody discharge may be seen oozing from the nipple, or a milky discharge for those who are breast feeding
- A dimpled skin on the breast
- Nipple pain or breast pain
- Change in size and shape of the breast
When you visit your doctor, make sure you explain to him/her in case you feel any of the above symptoms. This is because the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated the, the higher your chances of healing it successfully.
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Unconventional Signs Of Breast Cancer That You Must Know About
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of the disease in the world that affects both men and women. The chances of getting the disease increase as you age, but detecting it at an early stage could be life saving. In this article I am going to discuss uncommon signs and symptoms of breast cancer that many people overlook.
The majority of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in people who are aged 40 and up, but in the instances where it affects younger people it tends to be more aggressive. This makes early detection an essential part of treating the disease within its onset stages.
Its important to have a firm grasp of bodily knowledge, as the earliest stages of breast cancer usually come without pain. The most common indicator is the discovery of a lump, but cancer goes through multiple progressive stages before these lumps form. It may sometimes take years for lumps to develop, so people shouldnt rely solely on lumps to indicate breast cancer, as they usually indicate an already progressive disease.
There are several signs that the American Cancer Society claim should be analyzed closely by a specialist. It is important to remember that these signs arent definitive proof of existing breast cancer. They can sometimes indicate smaller hormonal or health factors, so visiting an expert can clear any ambiguity. Some of the more obvious signs are:
- Change in breast structure
- Changes in the skin or nipple
Swelling In Your Breasts
Sometimes breasts get tender and swollen during pregnancy, but if youre not pregnant and find the size of your breasts is changing, it warrants a second look.
The swelling of one or both breasts can be a symptom of breast cancer. Breasts are often not identical to each other, so a variation in size between the two is normal. However, if you notice one of your breasts is looking larger than usual, it could be due to swelling, which could be a sign of something amiss.
A tightness or tingling feeling in the skin, coupled with the change in size, most likely means swelling is present.
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Pagets Disease Of The Breast
This is a rare skin condition that is sometimes a sign of an underlying breast cancer. The symptoms are a red, scaly rash on the nipple and surrounding area. This;can be itchy and looks a bit like eczema. It is sometimes mistaken for eczema at first.
See your doctor if you have any changes in the skin of your breast.;
Types Of Breast Lumps
There are numerous types of lumps that form on the breast. Your lump on breast can be cyclic mastalgia or non-cyclic mastalgia. Cyclic lumps are associated with menstrual cycle while noncyclic ones are not. Some lumps on the breast may be caused by infections and such lumps that will completely disappear as the infection is treated are the ones referred to as noncyclic mastalgia. In case you are not sure of the origin of your lump on breast, it is advisable you seek help from your doctor to make sure that you are not dealing with a serious condition.
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Breast Lumps Or Lumpiness
Many women find their breasts feel lumpy. Breast tissue naturally has a bumpy texture.
Some women have more lumpiness in their breasts than others. In most cases, this lumpiness is no cause to worry.
If the lumpiness can be felt throughout the breast and feels like your other breast, then its likely normal breast tissue.
Lumps that feel harder or different from the rest of the breast or that feel like a change should be checked. This type of lump may be a sign of breast cancer or a benign breast condition .
See a health care provider if you:
- Find a new lump that feels different from the rest of your breast
- Find a new lump that feels different from your other breast
- Feel something thats different from what you felt before
If;youve had a benign lump in the past, dont assume a new lump will also be benign. The new lump may not be breast cancer, but its best to make sure.;