What Is A Breast Lump
A breast lump or is a bulge or bump in the breasts. Breast lumps are more common in older women, but they can also develop in teenagers, young girls and babies. There are many different types of breast lumps that happen in children, but most are benign . Even though breast lumps can be harmless, it is still important to see a doctor if you or your child notice changes in what their breasts normally feel like.
Premenstrual Breast Pain And Swelling
- Main Symptom: breast fullness and pain.
- Cause: extra body fluid from female hormone cycles.
- Other symptoms: headache, swollen feet .
- Timing: mainly noticed in the week prior to menstrual periods.
- Course: improves during menstrual period and goes away between menstrual periods.
- Physical Findings: fullness that can be felt throughout both breasts.
- Onset: usually 2 years after onset of periods . Similar onset as for menstrual cramps.
- Frequency: 10% of teens and 50% of adult women.
- Treatment: mainly ibuprofen and support bra. If breast pain can’t be controlled with ibuprofen, 80% can be improved by birth control pills.
- Other treatments: daily exercise and getting enough sleep.
How Is Benign Breast Disease Managed Or Treated
Most types of benign breast disease dont require treatment. Your healthcare provider may recommend treatment if you have atypical hyperplasia or a different kind of benign breast disease that increases your future risk of breast cancer. If you experience pain or discomfort or have an increased cancer risk, these treatments can help:
- Fine needle aspiration to drain fluid-filled cysts.
- Surgery to remove lumps .
- Oral antibiotics for infections like mastitis.
Don’t Miss: Breast Fullness And Cancer
Symptoms Included In This Guide Are: Breast Pain Breast Lump Breast Size Shape Or Symmetry Questions Redness Of Breast
- Breast lump: fibroadenoma, cyst. See Breast Lump details below
- Nipple discharge: milk, blood, pus, clear fluid
- Acute breast pain with redness : often an infection.
- Acute breast pain and fullness without redness : always consider pregnancy
- Recurrent breast pain with menstrual periods: cyclic mastalgia. See details below.
- Chronic breast pain, unrelated to menstrual period and usually just one side: fibroadenoma, cyst. Marijuana use can cause breast pain.
What Are The 6 Symptoms Of Breast Lumps And Pain
- Breast lump: Although alarming when you find one, most breast lumps are not cancer.
- Breast pain: Most commonly associated with fibrocystic changes, pain may occur in both breasts, though one may be more painful than the other. With fibrocystic changes, the pain occurs about a week before your menstrual period. The pain usually goes away gradually with the onset of your period.
- Cyclic breast pain is typically most severe before your period and gets better during your period.
- It is usually described as bilateral , in the upper outer areas of your breast, and is often associated with lumpiness.
- Women tend to describe this pain as dull, aching, heavy, or sore, and it can radiate to your armpit or even down your arm.
- The intensity of pain can vary widely with the range of severity from mild to severe enough to limit clothing selections, sleep positions, or hugging.
You May Like: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Survival Rate Stage 1
Breast Lumps And Pain Medications
When nonmedical treatment fails to control cyclic breast pain, your health care professional may prescribe birth control pills or danazol . Be sure to ask about possible side effects of these medications and report them to your doctor if you experience them.
- Many other drugs have been tried in the treatment of cyclic breast pain and have been found not to be useful or are generally not recommended because of their side effects.
- Noncyclic breast pain is managed by treating the underlying cause. If a mass or lump is found, it is checked and treated. When your breast pain is caused by chest wall tenderness, it is treated with anti-inflammatory medication or rarely by steroid injections.
- If no cause for the noncyclic pain is found, a pain treatment protocol for cyclic pain is usually tried and often found to be successful.
- For simple mastitis without an abscess, oral antibiotics are prescribed. The antibiotic chosen will depend on the clinical situation, your doctor’s preference, and your medication allergies, if any. This medicine is safe to use while breastfeeding and will not harm the baby.
- Chronic mastitis in nonbreastfeeding women is more complicated. Recurrent episodes of mastitis are common. Occasionally this type of infection responds poorly to antibiotics. Therefore, close follow-up with your doctor is mandatory.
Risk Factors You Can Change
- Not being physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Being overweight or obese after menopause. Older women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those at a normal weight.
- Taking hormones. Some forms of hormone replacement therapy taken during menopause can raise risk for breast cancer when taken for more than five years. Certain oral contraceptives also have been found to raise breast cancer risk.
- Reproductive history. Having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise breast cancer risk.
- Drinking alcohol. Studies show that a womans risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks.
Research suggests that other factors such as smoking, being exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer, and changes in other hormones due to night shift working also may increase breast cancer risk.
You May Like: Cancer Progression Symptoms
What Causes Benign Breast Conditions
Benign breast conditions are generally caused by a number of factors. Those factors include the makeup of your breasts , your age, hormone problems. Hormone therapy, birth control pills, pregnancy, menopause, being overweight, infection, and breastfeeding can also cause them. The exact cause can often be traced back to your specific diagnosis.
The male benign breast condition, gynecomastia, is caused by a hormone imbalance. It also can be caused by hormone therapy, some diseases, and being severely overweight.
What Are The Symptoms
The most common symptoms of breast cancer in men are
- A lump or swelling in the breast.
- Redness or flaky skin in the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Nipple discharge.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
These symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer. If you have any symptoms or changes, see your doctor right away.
You May Like: What Organs Are Affected By Breast Cancer
When To Start Screening
We recommend mammogram screening to start no earlier than age 40 and no later than age 50 for women of average risk for breast cancer, and continue through to at least age 74, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Screening mammography should occur at least once every two years. For women whose screening mammograms show they have dense breasts, an extra testa breast ultrasoundis recommended.
Dr. Andrejeva-Wright says it is important to talk with a health care provider about when you should start getting mammograms, based on your unique health profile, and to make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice any unusual breast changes.
Any time a woman feels a breast mass, which does not go away, while doing a breast self-exam at any age, she should get it checked out, says Dr. Silber.
More than half of the time, women detect breast cancers themselves when they notice an unusual breast change. Whenever there is a new mass or lump, tell your doctorit should be evaluated by a clinical physical examination followed by breast imaging, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Other signs to be aware of include asymmetry of the breasts and nipple changes such as discharge or peeling skin around the nipple.
Says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright, These symptoms dont mean you have breast cancer, but its a reason to seek an opinion from a medical provider.
Is Surgery Necessary For Breast Lumps
- In general, surgery is not necessary to treat breast pain unless a mass is found. Surgery is performed to remove a lump.
- If an abscess is present, it must be drained. After injection of local anesthetic, the doctor may drain an abscess near the surface of the skin either by aspiration with a needle and syringe or by using a small incision. This can be done in the doctor’s office or Emergency Department.
- If the abscess is deep in the breast, it may require surgical drainage in the operating room. This is usually done under general anesthesia in order to minimize pain and completely drain the abscess. If your infection worsens in spite of oral antibiotics or if you have a deep abscess requiring surgical treatment, you may be admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics.
Also Check: Bob Red Mill Baking Soda Cancer
How Are Breast Lumps Treated In Children
Most breast lumps in children dont need treatment if they are not getting bigger or causing pain.
- A breast lump may only need to be monitored by a doctor to see if the lump gets larger or begins hurting.
- An ultrasound of the lump may be used to help diagnose what type of lump it is.
- The doctor may take a biopsy .
Lumps that are growing quickly may need to be surgically removed. This is done with a procedure called a lumpectomy .
You And Your General Practitioner
If you have recently seen a specialist at a Breast Clinic, it is a good idea to visit your GP afterwards. That way, you can make sure you fully understand any information, tests or diagnosis that the specialist gave you.
Its also a good chance to talk about what you are thinking and feeling about your breast change or diagnosis.
Your GP can also help you if you would like a second opinion about your breast change.
If you dont have a regular GP, ask friends, family or your local community health centre for some suggestions. Its good to have a regular GP who you know and trust.
You May Like: What To Expect During Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer And Birth Control
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also notes that the overall cancer risk for teens remains low, even though using hormonal birth control minimally increases the risk of developing cancer.
If you use hormonal birth control and youre concerned about your cancer risk, please discuss your options with your doctor before stopping your birth control.
Doctors should exercise caution before recommending oral contraceptives to someone in this group.
That said, an increased breast cancer risk is just one of many factors to consider before deciding on the right birth control method.
Teens going through the earlier stages of puberty may notice lumps near their nipples. Tenderness and soreness are also possible. These occur during normal breast development and arent a cause of concern on their own.
Your period can also cause tenderness and soreness in the breasts.
Brain And Spinal Cord Tumors
There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors, and the treatment and outlook for each is different.
In children, most brain tumors start in the lower parts of the brain, such as the cerebellum or brain stem . Adults are more likely to develop tumors in upper parts of the brain. Tumors in adolescents can occur in either area.
Spinal cord tumors are less common than brain tumors in all age groups. These tumors can cause numbness, weakness, or loss of coordination in the arms or legs , as well as bladder or bowel problems.
Don’t Miss: Estrogen Related Cancers
About Breast Cancer In Men
Breast cancer is often thought of as a condition that only affects women, but men can also develop it.
It’s much less common in men than women, with only around 1 new case of breast cancer diagnosed for every 100,000 men in the UK each year.
The cancer develops in the small amount of breast tissue men have behind their nipples. The most common symptom is a hard, painless lump in one of the breasts.
However, the vast majority of breast lumps are caused by a condition called gynaecomastia. This is a common non-cancerous condition where male breast tissue becomes enlarged.
Breast cancer in men can also cause nipple problems, such as the nipple turning in on itself or nipple discharge.
Read more about preventing cancer
Why Do Girls Need Them
Most teens don’t need breast exams. That’s because it’s rare for girls to have breast problems. Doctors usually just look at a girl’s breasts during her yearly gyn checkup to see where she is in her development. But if you have a family history of breast problems, your doctor or nurse might give you a breast exam.
Also Check: 3b Breast Cancer
Breast Lumps And Pain Self
- Limit your intake of caffeine in coffee and soft drinks, theophyllines in tea, and theobromine in chocolate. Although the role of these methylxanthines is controversial, some women report improvement in pain when they limit these.
- Daily vitamin E can reduce fibrocystic changes. Avoid doses higher than 600 mg per day.
- Wear a well-fitted bra or sports bra for support, especially if you have large breasts. You may want to wear a comfortable bra to bed.
- Apply warm compresses to your breasts for pain relief.
- Over-the-counter pain medication may help.
- Make note, and avoid, any foods that may seem to cause the pain.
- Keep a diary of pain, documenting frequency and severity for at least a 2-month period. This may be enough to convince you and your doctor that the pain is cyclic and not severe enough to warrant medications that may have bothersome side effects.
- Injury: If you suffer an injury to your breast, apply an ice pack for 20 minutes just as you would for any other bruise. Do not let the ice touch your skin directly. You can use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel. You may take a pain reliever such as ibuprofen .
- Mastitis: Breast infections require treatment by a doctor. After you see a doctor, try pain medication, frequent feedings of your infant and warm compresses.
What Are The Risk Factors
Several factors can increase a mans chance of getting breast cancer. Having risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer.
- Getting older. The risk for breast cancer increases with age. Most breast cancers are found after age 50.
- Genetic mutations. Inherited changes in certain genes, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, increase breast cancer risk.
- Family history of breast cancer. A mans risk for breast cancer is higher if a close family member has had breast cancer.
- Radiation therapy treatment. Men who had radiation therapy to the chest have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
- Hormone therapy treatment. Drugs containing estrogen , which were used to treat prostate cancer in the past, increase mens breast cancer risk.
- Klinefelter syndrome.Klinefelter syndromeexternal icon is a rare genetic condition in which a male has an extra X chromosome. This can lead to the body making higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of androgens .
- Certain conditions that affect the testicles. Injury to, swelling in, or surgery to remove the testicles can increase breast cancer risk.
- Liver disease. Cirrhosis of the liver can lower androgen levels and raise estrogen levels in men, increasing the risk of breast cancer.
- Overweight and obesity. Older men who are overweight or have obesity have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than men at a normal weight.
Talk to your doctor about your familys history of cancer.
Don’t Miss: Is Stage 3 Breast Cancer Terminal
Coping With A Diagnosis
Being told you have breast cancer can cause a wide range of emotions, such as shock, fear, confusion and, in some cases, embarrassment.
Most people assume breast cancer only affects women, so it can be difficult to come to terms with the diagnosis.
Feelings of isolation and being alone are common in men with breast cancer. This may be because there’s little in the way of advice and support for men with breast cancer, particularly when compared with the support available for women with the condition.
Sometimes men who find themselves in this situation can become depressed. You may be depressed if you’ve felt very down and no longer interested in doing activities you used to enjoy during the past month.
If you think you may be depressed, visit your GP. There is a range of effective treatments, such as medication and counselling, that can help relieve feelings of depression.
You may also find it useful to talk to other men affected by the condition. Breast Cancer Now is a breast cancer charity that provides an online forum for anyone diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer Research UK also provides Cancer Chat, an online forum for anyone affected by cancer.