If You Find A Breast Lump
Most benign breast conditions are treatable, and some will even go away on their own, but it’s best to let your doctor be the one to tell you that. All breast lumps should be evaluated by a medical professional, who will help you decide how to proceed. Because of the fluctuations in breast tissue that occur in response to hormonal changes throughout the month, its typically a good idea to do a self-exam at the same point every month, such as a few days after the end of your menstrual cycle.
Additional reporting by .
How Are Cysts Diagnosed And Treated
Your healthcare provider may find a cyst during a physical exam. He or she may confirm the diagnosis with a mammogram or ultrasound. You may also have a fine-needle aspiration. This involves guiding a very fine needle into the cyst and drawing fluid from it . This also serves as the treatment for this condition. Once the fluid is aspirated, the cyst collapses and disappears. But, cysts can reappear later, in which case they are simply drained again. Cysts are seldom cancerous .
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.
Also Check: Can Stage 3 Breast Cancer Be Cured
Menutap On Me To See The 12 Symptoms Of Breast Cancer Explained
Different Kinds Of Breast Lumps
There are different types of breast lumps. The following descriptions and illustraitons provides some details. If you have any questions, follow-up with your doctor.
BENIGNAlthough any lump formed by body cells may be referred to technically as a tumor. Not all tumors are malignant . Most breast lumps 80% of those biopsied are benign . Following are examples of the most common benign breast conditions which produce lumps.
Fibrocystic changes: This is not a disease, but rather a benign condition affecting 50 to 60 percent of all women. Fibrous breast tissue, mammary glands, and ducts overreact to the normal hormones produced during ovulation, resulting in the development of fibrous lumps and/or
numerous, small multiple cysts, . Fibrocystic changes are an exaggerated response of breast tissue to changes of ovarian hormones.
Fibrocystic changes are the most common non-cancerous breast condition. They are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50. They are unusual after menopause unless a woman is taking hormones.
The size and tenderness of Fibrocystic lumps usually increase before menstruation, decreasing after the period ends. This condition, also known as cystic mastitis, generally disappears after menopause. Medical opinion is still divided over whether Fibrocystic disease increases the risk of breast cancer.
|Give us a call|
Also Check: Baking Soda And Honey For Cancer
Yes Breast Cancer Can Hurt
by Patient Advocate
The myth that breast cancer doesn’t hurt causes way too much pain! Like many myths, this one has roots in a fact. Compared to a breast cyst, which is often very tender to the touch, a cancerous lump usually doesn’t hurt when a woman or doctor feels it.
We hear many reports from women that go something like this:
I found this lump in my breast, so I went to see the doctor. It really hurt when he did the exam. He told me not to worry because breast cancer doesn’t hurt, but I am worried. Shouldn’t he have ordered a mammogram or ultrasound to see what it is?
Probably the doctor made a determination based on the shape, texture and tenderness of the lump that it was a cyst. I hope that what he said to the patient was, “Usually a painful lump like this is not breast cancer.” However, what the patient took away was the message that breast cancer doesn’t hurt. And yes, he should have ordered an ultrasound. An ultrasound is an easy, comparatively inexpensive test that can usually tell for sure whether a lump is a harmless, fluid-filled cyst.
Our community member Peglove recently wrote a describing her experience with a painful lump:
Fortunately, Paget’s is not usually an aggressive form of breast cancer, but sometimes it is associated with other tumors inside the breast. For this reason it is important to see a doctor, especially for a rash on just one side.
Love, S. and K. Lindsey.Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, 5th ed. Da Capo Press, 2010.
How Are Fibroadenomas Diagnosed
A breast ultrasound involves lying on a table while a handheld device called a transducer is moved over the skin of the breast, creating a picture on a screen. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast taken while the breast is compressed between two flat surfaces.
A fine needle aspiration or biopsy may be performed to remove tissue for testing. This involves inserting a needle into the breast and removing small pieces of the tumor.
The tissue will then be sent to a lab for microscopic examination to determine the type of fibroadenoma and if its cancerous. Learn more about breast biopsies.
You May Like: Anne Hathaway Breast
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.
Change In Size Shape Or Feel Of Your Breast
A cancer might cause your breast to look bigger or have a different shape than usual, it might feel different.
Many healthy women find that their breasts feel lumpy and tender just before their period.
It can help to be breast aware. This means getting to know the size, shape and feel of your breasts.
Don’t Miss: Did Anne Hathaway Have Breast Cancer
Take A Proactive Approach To Your Health
Everyone must take a proactive approach to manage their health. It is your responsibility to be your bodys best advocate. Dont be afraid to perform your monthly breast exams, for example. If you have a family history of cancer, it could be wise to get genetic testing from CircleDNA, as a DNA test like this one will reveal some answers about your own cancer risk. If you notice something off in your own body, like a lump, growth, mole, oddly-coloured urine or any other symptom, dont stay quiet about it. Speak up, for the sake of your health.
Things That Can Cause A Lump In Your Breasts
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. However, if you feel a lump, it is important to know what factors may be causing this change in the texture of your breast tissue – as cancer may not always be the culprit. Here are seven reasons why a lump may develop in the breast, and what to do if you suspect you may be experiencing one of these issues.
You May Like: Is Breast Cancer Curable In The 3 Stage
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 To Look For Changes
Standing in front of a mirror, a person should look at the overall appearance of the breasts and nipples. Here are some questions to think about while doing so:
- Are they similar in size, shape, and height?
- Is one a different color than the other?
- Are there any visible skin lesions, marks, color changes, or moles?
- Are there any signs of swelling, lumpiness, pitting, or contour changes?
- Are the nipples facing outward or inward?
A person should run through this checklist twice: once with their arms at their sides and once with their arms above their head.
Breasts are rarely identical, but noticing changes can help detect a problem early. Having an idea of the usual size, shape, appearance, and feel of the breasts can help a person be aware of any changes.
Recommended Reading: What Is Stage 3a Breast Cancer
What Is The Prognosis For People With Benign Breast Disease
The majority of women with benign breast disease dont develop breast cancer. If you have a disease type that increases cancer risk, your healthcare provider may recommend more frequent cancer screenings. Certain breast diseases can make you more prone to developing lumps. You should notify your healthcare provider anytime you notice changes in how your breasts look or feel.
Finding A Lump In My Breast: My Breast Cancer Scare
When I found a lump in my breast a couple of years ago, my heart sank. The first thing I thought of when I felt a lump in my right breast was the big C word. I was so afraid because Ive seen first-hand in family and friends how cancer ravages a persons body. A friend of mine became a shadow of what he once was, changing from a muscular gym buff to a severely emaciated man because of colon cancer. Cancer does not discriminate, as it is a disease that can pounce on anyone, so I was deathly afraid when I found a lump in my breast.
I was taught that part of self-care is taking preventive health measures. I religiously followed the advice of my high school health education teacher to do my own monthly breast exams, where you do a self-examination of both breasts on a regular basis. Then one day, I found a lump in my right breast.I tried telling myself that the lump in my breast could be period-related. However, something really feels off when you touch a growth in your breast that shouldnt be there. A million thoughts went through my head. Is it a cyst? Is it a malignant tumour? Could it be breast cancer? Will I lose my breast? I didnt know what to think.
What Is Sclerosing Adenosis
Sclerosing adenosis is excess growth of tissues in the breasts lobules. This often causes breast pain. While these changes in the breast tissue are very small, they may show up on mammograms as calcifications and can make lumps. Usually a biopsy is needed to rule out cancer. In addition, because the condition can be mistaken for cancer, the lumps are usually removed through surgical biopsy.
Read Also: Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer
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.
Recommended Reading: Can Asbestos Cause Breast Cancer
A Lump In My Breast Advice Needed
Hello everyone! I am 23 years old female and a few months back, about June, I’ve found a lump in my breast. It is a singular, hard lump. It has grown slightly since then. I don’t think it is coming from the skin, it seems to be attached to the breast tissue, deeper then the skin. I didn’t want to be a hypochondriac and make a big thing out of it, plus the chances of it being something serious seemed non existing to me. So I decided to leave it for a couple weeks and see what happens but then I just didn’t had time to deal with it so I left it up until now. I went my GP and she checked my breast and armpits. I have a lot of small lumps in my armpits, I always did. They are just blocked pores. They don’t change and they are not attached to the tissue below, unlike the lump in my breast. Still my GP said that they feel this same. They don’t!! She is going to refer me to the breast clinic but just as a a non urgent case. She thinks that all of them are this same and that they are calcium deposit. She maybe right but I don’t agree with her. I am annoyed that she wasn’t more thorough and didn’t give me a chance to speak. I know that it is probably nothing serious but I am worried that she has the wrong information. I don’t know what to do. My GP practice is really difficult to get in touch with and I don’t want to bother them. I am just frustrated and worried because what if it is something sinister and I have to wait for an appointment, six months?
Benign Breast Lumps And Future Cancer Risk
- Women who had a history of benign breast disease are more likely to develop breast cancer than those who have never had any breast disease. According to a 2019 study in the International Journal of Cancer, benign breast disease increases the risk of developing breast cancer in the future, in addition to the risk that a woman may already have due to family history, personal breast cancer history, or a genetic mutation.
You May Like: Why Is Left Breast Cancer More Common
Causes Of Breast Lumps
Lumps in the breasts can have lots of different causes.
They’re often caused by something harmless like a non-cancerous tissue growth or a build-up of fluid .
Sometimes, a breast lump can be a sign of something serious like breast cancer.