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.
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How Much Do Anastrozole And Exemestane Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Studies have shown that both anastrozole and exemestane can lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at increased risk of the disease.
In one large study, taking anastrozole for five years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 53 percent. In another study, taking exemestane for three years lowered the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer by 65 percent.
The most common side effects seen with anastrazole and exemestane are joint pains, decreased bone density, and symptoms of menopause .
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/31/2018.
Cancer Symptoms In Men
Men are notorious for ignoring health problems. In some cases, if the underlying cause of a problem is cancer, ignoring symptoms could put men at risk. Some cancer symptoms in men are specific only to men , and others symptoms such as pain or fatigue are general and could have many causes.
Breast cancer in men is not common, but is it possible. Any mass in the breast area, or breast changes such as:
- dimpling or puckering of the skin,
- nipple retraction,
Men possess a small amount of nonfunctioning breast tissue that is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple on the chest wall. Like breast cancer in women, cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of some of the cells of this breast tissue that have the potential to spread elsewhere in the body. These cells become so abnormal in appearance and behavior that they are then called cancer cells.
Breast tissue in healthy young boys and girls consists of tubular structures known as ducts. At puberty, a girls ovaries produce female hormones that cause the ducts to grow and milk-producing glands to develop at the ends of the ducts. The amount of fat and connective tissue in the breast also increases as girls go through puberty. On the other hand, male hormones secreted by the testes suppress the growth of breast tissue and the development of lobules. The male breast, therefore, is made up of predominantly small, undeveloped ducts and a small amount of fat and connective tissue.
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What Does Normal Breast Tissue Feel Like
Not all lumps in the breasts are malignant . As one MyBCTeam member wrote, Keep in mind that breasts are naturally fibrous and lumpy and often change with your menstrual cycle and hormone changes.
Its true women commonly have irregularities and lumpy areas in their breast tissues. Whats more, the structures in and around the breasts may sometimes be detectable as small bumps. The lymph nodes and milk lobes, for instance, may feel like soft beans or soft peas.
As another member shared, I was told some small lumps are normal. You just have to get to know what your normal is. This is great advice familiarizing yourself with your breast tissue will help you understand when something feels different or if a new lump appears.
What Does A Cancerous Lump In Breast Feel Like
What did your breast cancer lump feel like?
Breast cancer usually feels like a hard or firm lump . It usually is irregular in shape and may feel like it is attached to skin or tissue deep inside the breast so that it cannot be moved without moving breast tissue.
Do breast cancer lumps hurt when you push on them?
A lump or mass in the breast is the most common symptom of breast cancer. Lumps are often hard and painless, although some are painful.
What does a breast cancer lump feel like hard or soft?
The way that lump feels can provide plenty of information. Breast cancer tumors are rigid with firm, angular edges. They feel more like rocks than grapes. A tumor won’t be smooth like a cyst.
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Does A Benign Breast Condition Mean That I Have A Higher Risk Of Getting Breast Cancer
Benign breast conditions rarely increase your risk of breast cancer. Some women have biopsies that show a condition called hyperplasia . This condition increases your risk only slightly.
When the biopsy shows hyperplasia and abnormal cells, which is a condition called atypical hyperplasia, your risk of breast cancer increases somewhat more. Atypical hyperplasia occurs in about 5% of benign breast biopsies.
When Should You See A Doctor
If you discover a breast lump or notice any changes in your breasts or the surrounding areas, it is important to seek medical advice straight away.
Breast cancers will not grow overnight but the earlier the detection the greater chances there are of successful treatment and survival. Of course, it is also possible that it may not be cancer, so the earlier medical advice is sought, the better it will be for the patientâs own mental wellbeing too.
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What Do Breast Cancer Lumps Feel Like
Most cancerous lumps in the breasts are not painful . Breast cancer lumps are typically irregular in shape and feel like firm or solid lumps. They are single lumps, and they generally don’t move if you press them.
Cancerous lumps can come in any shape and size and can vary depending on the size of a womans breasts, the location of the lump, and how deeply in the breast tissue the lump is growing.
Although breast cancer lumps can grow anywhere in the breasts, they frequently grow from the mammary glands . About 50 percent of these lumps develop in the outer upper portion of the breast and extend into the armpit area. Less common locations for cancerous breast lumps include the nipple area , the outer lower quadrant , and the inner lower quadrant .
It is impossible to determine whether a lump in the breast is cancerous based only on how it feels. If you notice any new or changed lumps in your breasts, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
What Is Breast Cancer
Cells in the body normally divide only when new cells are needed. Sometimes, cells in a part of the body grow and divide out of control, which creates a mass of tissue called a tumor. If the cells that are growing out of control are normal cells, the tumor is called benign. If, however, the cells that are growing out of control are abnormal and don’t function like the body’s normal cells, the tumor is called malignant .
Cancers are named after the part of the body from which they originate. Breast cancer originates in the breast tissue. Like other cancers, breast cancer can invade and grow into the tissue surrounding the breast. It can also travel to other parts of the body and form new tumors, a process called metastasis.
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Always Seek Medical Attention Even During The Coronavirus Pandemic
The key point is that a woman should seek medical attention for any concerning lumps in her breasts, says Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, a breast oncologist with the Susan F. Smith Center.
Simple imaging techniques, such as a mammogram or breast ultrasound, can usually provide reassurance that the breast lump is benign. If necessary, a breast MRI or biopsy can be used to evaluate whether the lump is cancerous.
How Can I Check My Breasts
Feel each breast and armpit, all the way up to your collarbone, with your hands. Running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit might be the best way to do this in the shower or bath. In the mirror, you can even examine your breasts. Look both with your arms at your sides and with your arms lifted.
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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.
Metastatic Breast Cancer & Pain
Metastatic breast cancer may also cause pain. It could be from a larger tumorthese are often over two centimeters in diameteror pain in other regions of the body due to the spread of cancer. If breast cancer spreads to your bones, it may cause bone pain in your chest, or back pain with leg weakness. If cancer spreads to your brain, it may cause headaches.
If breast cancer travels to the adrenal glands, you may feel a dull back pain. If your breast cancer spreads to your liver, you could have pain in the upper right part of the abdomen and develop jaundice .
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How To Perform A Self
Screening techniques help you and your doctor identify suspicious spots in your breast. A mammogram is a common screening option. A breast self-exam is another.
The self-exam was considered an important part of early breast cancer detection for many decades. Today, however, it may lead to too many unnecessary biopsies and surgical procedures.
Still, your doctor may recommend a self-exam to you. At the very least, the exam can help you familiarize yourself with your breasts appearance, shape, texture, and size. Knowing what your breasts should feel like could help you spot a potential problem more easily.
1) Pick a date. Hormones impact how your breasts feel, so its a good idea to wait a few days after your menstrual cycle ends. If you do not have a period, pick a date on the calendar you can easily remember, such as the first or fifteenth, and schedule your self-exam.
2) Take a look. Remove your top and bra. Stand in front of a mirror. Observe how your breasts look, inspecting them for changes in symmetry, shape, size, or color. Raise both arms, and repeat the visual inspection, noting the changes to your breasts shape and size when your arms are extended.
4) Squeeze your nipple. Gently squeeze on each nipple to see if you have any discharge.
6) Keep a journal. Subtle changes may be hard to detect, but a journal might help you see developments as they occur. Jot down any unusual spots and check them again in a few weeks. If you find any lumps, see your doctor.
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.
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What To Do If You Find A Lump
If you find a lump or suspicious area in your breast, dont panic. Make an appointment to see your doctor right away. This is important even if youve had cysts or other benign breast issues before. Dont assume that every breast lump or change is the same.
Your doctor will likely refer you for a diagnostic mammogram, which is one of the best ways to help differentiate a benign lump from a cancerous one. They may also order an ultrasound of the breast. Advanced imaging and expertise allows doctors to detect concerning breast abnormalities earlier and more accurately. The Breast Health Center at Loma Linda University Cancer Center offers the most advanced breast cancer screening capabilities including all types of mammography, such as 3-D mammograms. Whats more, an expert radiologist dedicated solely to breast imaging reads all mammography studies.
Patient navigators are registered nurses trained in oncology care to guide you through the challenges of dealing with cancer. They are here to support you as you go through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Contact the Patient Navigator team at 800-782-2623.
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The Breast Cancer Centers At Ctca
At the Breast Cancer Centers at each of our CTCA® hospitals, located across the nation, our cancer experts are devoted to a single missiontreating breast cancer patients with compassion and precision. Each patients care team is led by a medical oncologist and coordinated by a registered oncology nurse, who helps track the various appointments, follow up on tests and answer questions that come up along the way. Your care team also may include a breast surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist, pathologist and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with advanced training in helping patients restore function and appearance. Fertility preservation and genetic testing are also available for qualifying patients who need them.
Our pathologists and oncologists are experienced and trained in tools designed to diagnose, stage and treat different types of breast cancer, from early-stage ductal carcinoma in situ to complex diseases such as triple-negative and inflammatory breast cancer. As part of our patient-centered care model, which is designed to help you keep strong during treatment, your multidisciplinary care team may recommend various evidence-informed supportive therapies, such as naturopathic support, psychosocial support, nutritional support, physical and occupational therapy and pain management. The entire team works together with a whole-person focus, which is at the heart of our centers dedication to personalized and comprehensive care.
What Does Cancer Pain Actually Feel Like
If youre experiencing cancer-related pain, make sure to check with your doctor about treatment options.
If you are suffering from cancer, you may have to deal with a lot of pain. While not everyone with cancer experiences pain, a significant number do. The pain that you feel will be different based on the type of cancer that you have. Sometimes you might have several different forms of pain, making it difficult to explain. Additionally, with cancer pain comes not only the physical discomfort but also emotional pain, as well.
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What Does Breast Cancer Look Like
In many cases, women spot signs of breast cancer outside of regular breast cancer screenings. In fact, paying attention to changes in your breasts during regular activities like showering or getting dressed, along with getting your annual mammogram if youre age 40 or over, is one of the best ways to increase your chances of finding breast cancer early, when its easiest to treat.
Any change you notice that is different to you, you should get it checked out, says Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of MD Andersons Lyda Hill Cancer Prevention Center. Its always better to get something checked out and find its nothing than to ignore it.
Any subtle change in your breasts should be taken seriously, but here are some symptoms that might be a sign of breast cancer.