Lump In The Breast

Lumps in the breast are bulges or swellings. There can be various reasons for a breast lump including infection and injuries. Most of the breast lumps are non-cancerous. Generally, people do not experience pain in breast cancer. The common symptoms of breast cancer are lumps in the breast that are painless, discharge from the nipple, and inflammation of the breast skin. You should reach out to a doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms of breast lumps. It is important to see a doctor as early as possible as it can affect your health in the long run. Your doctor provides the treatment on the basis of the cause of lumps. A biopsy or a tissue sampling is done in order to know if a lump is cancerous or not. A biopsy can be done in many ways. Lumps in the breast can appear in females as well as males, but females are more prone to breast lumps. Breast lumps can appear at any age. Sometimes, they appear and then disappear on their own.

Lump In The Breast Symptoms

Generally, breast lumps are painless. Check out various possible symptoms or signs of breast lumps that you may find:

-  You may notice a lump in the breast that is painless.

-  There can be a discharge from the nipple. The discharge can be there even without touching.

-  You may have inflammation or swelling in the breast skin.

-  You may experience changes in the breast skin including warmth and redness. There is a possibility that it is a symptom of breast cancer.

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Lump In The Breast Causes

There are different types of tissue in the female breast. Milk glands and milk ducts are the two main types of tissue. There can be a variation in the composition of the breast tissue. Breasts change when a woman breastfeeds. The breast also has fatty tissue, fibrous connective tissue, nerves, lymph nodes, and blood vessels. The breast part can react in various ways to body chemistry changes. These changes can lead to the development of lumps in the breast. Check out various potential causes of a lump in the breast:

-  An injury to the breast can lead to the development of breast lumps.

-  Fibrocystic breasts can cause lumps in the breast. In this condition, breasts feel lumpy which can be accompanied by a pain.

-  One of the common symptoms of fibroadenoma is a lump in the breast.

-  Intraductal papilloma can lead to the formation of a lump in the breast. Intraductal papilloma is a small, benign tumour in a milk duct in the breast.

-  A lipoma can cause a lump in the breast. It is a non-cancerous tumour made of fat tissue.

-  An infection of the breast or mastitis can be a cause of breast lumps.

-  Due to breast cancer, you experience lumps in the breast.

-  Hamartoma, milk cysts, and breast cysts are some of the other potential causes of breast lumps.

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How is it diagnosed?

You should visit the best doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms of breast lumps. Your doctor will ask you various questions regarding the lump including when you find out the lump, and what symptoms are you experiencing. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination of your breast in order to diagnose. If it becomes hard for your doctor to know the exact cause of breast lumps then he or she may ask you to go for some additional tests including:

- Mammogram: It is an X-ray of the breast done to know the abnormalities in the breast. Mammogram also helps to find out if a person has breast cancer, though sometimes it fails to provide the correct result which is rare. Calcium deposits pattern can appear on the mammogram which makes your doctor suspicious about cancer. In such a condition, it is generally recommended that a biopsy should be done.

- Ultrasound: It is a painless test done with the help of sound waves. It is done to evaluate lumps in the breast. It is done to know if a cyst is a solid lump (which can be cancerous or not) or fluid-filled. If even after the ultrasound it is not clear that the breast lump is cystic in nature then your doctor may ask you to go for further evaluation.

- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): It is widely used for evaluating lumps in the breast as this test can even help to find out the abnormalities that are small in the breast. With the help of radio waves, a computer, and magnetism, the images of internal body structure are produced. The images that are obtained from the MRI can help to find out if any specific area is cancerous.

- Fine-Needle Aspiration: Fine-needle aspiration is a diagnostic procedure done to investigate lumps. In this procedure, fluid is removed from the breast lump with the help of a needle. Your doctor may conduct an ultrasound to guide the needle. Some cysts which are non-cancerous go away after removing the fluid. If your doctor finds that the fluid is cloudy or bloody then he or she may send it to a laboratory for analyzing cancer cells.

- Biopsy: Biopsy can be done in many ways. In this procedure, a tissue sample is taken in order to analyze under a microscope. Stereotactic biopsy, vacuum-assisted biopsy, fine-needle aspiration biopsy, core needle biopsy, a surgical biopsy (incisional biopsy), and surgical biopsy (excisional biopsy).

Prevention

Generally, it is not possible to prevent breast lumps as they can occur due to hormonal changes and you have no control over them. You can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer if you:

-  Have a healthy and balanced diet.

-  Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.

-  Maintain a weight that is healthy.

-  Do physical exercises regularly.

-  Reduce or avoid the consumption of alcohol.

-  Get your breasts examined regularly.

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Treatment

The doctor finds out the exact cause before giving the treatment to the patient. All breast lumps do not require treatment.  Your doctor will decide whether there is a requirement for further testing or treatment depending on your case. Check out the various treatment options for breast lumps:

-  Your doctor may recommend you antibiotics if you have an infection in the breast.

-  If you have a cyst then your doctor may drain the cyst. Generally, cysts leave you when they are drained. In some circumstances, there is no need to treat cysts as they may go away on their own.

-  If your doctor finds out that your lump is a breast cancer then treatment can include lumpectomy in which a lump is removed, mastectomy in which the breast tissue is removed, chemotherapy in which drugs are used to destroy or fight the cancer, and radiation in which radioactive materials or rays are used to fight the cancer. The treatment that is provided by the doctor depends on the type of the breast cancer patient has, the location and size of a tumour, and the extent of cancer.

-  If your doctor finds out that the reason for your breast lump is an injury then your doctor might ask you to give some time to heal.

-  There are some types of breast lumps including fibroadenoma which need not be treated or removed.

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Complications

There are various complications associated with breast lumps. Some breast lumps are cancerous in nature. Various stages of breast cancer are treated with the help of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can lead to many complications including constipation, diarrhoea, infertility, early menopause, constant exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and more.

Myths

Check out various myths or misconceptions about breast lumps:

Myth #1: A breast lump is probably cancer.

As per various studies, lumps that most women experience in the breast are not cancerous. They are generally a fibroadenoma or a cyst. There are some lumps that come and go away naturally during a menstrual cycle of a woman. It is important to do the self-examination of the breast regularly. As soon as you experience the symptoms of breast lumps, you should reach out to the best doctor for a diagnosis.

Myth #2: If you have a lump but your mammogram is normal, you are done.

There is a possibility that you have a lump but your mammogram does not show this. As per research, 10% mammography shows the wrong result. That is why your doctor may ask you to go for additional tests including a follow-up mammogram, ultrasound, and MRI in order to look at the lump again. Your doctor may also ask you to get the biopsy done to have the sample of your lump for testing.

Myth #3: Breast lumps which are cancerous are always painless.

It is not necessary that if you have lumps in your breast that are cancerous then you will have no pain. Generally, most of the breast cancers are not painful. If you have pain in the breast then it does not indicate that you have breast cancer. You may experience a pain due to a lump in inflammatory breast cancer. The early symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer are warmth, redness, tenderness, and swelling.

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Conclusion

Breast lumps are swellings or bulges. Infection and injuries are some of the causes of breast lumps. It is not necessary that lumps are always painless. The common symptoms of breast lumps are painless lumps in the breast, discharge from the nipple, and inflammation or swelling in the breast skin. You should visit a doctor as soon as you experience the symptoms or signs of breast lumps. Your doctor can easily understand your problem after knowing your symptoms.

Your doctor may ask you to get some diagnostic tests done in order to be sure about the diagnosis. Mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging and fine-needle aspiration are some of the diagnostic tests that are conducted by the doctor in order to diagnose lumps in the breast. The treatment is provided depending on the cause of breast lumps, the extent of breast lumps, and location and size of breast lumps. Your doctor suggests the best treatment option as per your situation. There are some cases of breast lumps that can be treated without any medicine. Antibiotics are recommended if there is an infection in the breast. If there is a cyst then it can be drained. There are some cysts that go away on their own.

You should get your breasts examined on a regular basis. Self-examination plays a very important role. You should maintain a healthy weight in order to get prevention from breast lumps. Chemotherapy can lead to many complications including nausea, constipation, vomiting, diarrhoea, and infertility. People have a lot of myths or misconceptions about breast lumps. Breast lumps which are cancerous are always painless is one of the common myths.

If you are looking for the answers to various questions including:

-  What are the signs or symptoms of breast lumps?

-  What are the causes of lumps in the breast?

-  How are breast lumps diagnosed?

-  How are breast lumps prevented?

-  How are breast lumps treated?

-  What are various complications associated with lumps in the breast?

-  What are the myths about breast lumps?

-  What is a lump in the breast?

Then you are in the right place. Please refer to the above-mentioned information to get answers to all your questions.

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Last updated on : 29-10-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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