In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. – Louise L. Hay

What are breast lumps?

A breast lump is a growth of tissue that develops within your breast. Unusual lumps or bumps in breast tissue should be examined by a doctor. The vast majority of lumps aren’t cancerous and some benign breast lumps do not require treatment. However, the first sign of breast cancer often is a breast lump.

Possible Causes: 

There are many different types of breast lumps, and these have different causes:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Phyllodes tumour.
  • Breast cysts.
  • Fibroadenoma.
  • Fibrocystic breasts (lumpy or rope-like breast tissue).
  • Injury or trauma to the breast.
  • Intraductal papilloma - a benign growth in a milk duct.
  • Lipoma - a mass that's usually harmless.
  • Mastitis - an infection usually seen among women who are breast-feeding).
  • Milk cyst or galactocele — a milk-filled cyst that's usually harmless.

Risk Factors: 

While there are a number of benign conditions that may cause a breast lump, you need to be most careful if you are at high risk for breast cancer.

  • The risk is higher after the age of 50.
  • Women who have inherited certain genes are at a higher risk.
  • Women who started menstruating before the age of 12 and had menopause beyond the age of 55 are at a higher risk.
  •  Family history or personal history of breast cancer.
  • Previous treatment with radiation therapy.

Signs & Symptoms: 

There are many different types of breast lumps. Some signs of breast lumps are as follows:

  • A distinct lump.
  • A hard area.
  • A thickened, slightly more prominent area that's different from surrounding breast tissue.
  • Other changes, such as red, dimpled or pitted skin.
  • One breast enlarged.
  • Nipple pulled inward or fluid discharge from the nipple.
  • Painful breast lump or tenderness, which might increase during your period.

Diagnosis: 

Although most breast lumps are non-cancerous, or benign, it is necessary to get a proper diagnosis to check for cancer. Your doctor will examine your breast and nipple and also the lymph nodes in your armpits. Further investigations may be required, and you can get these done at Medcare:

  • Mammogram.
  • Breast ultrasound.
  • MRI.
  • Breast biopsy.

Treatment Options: 

Meet a specialist in the Medcare General Surgery Centre to discuss breast lump treatments. You can also ask how to cure a breast lump without surgery. Some benign breast lumps and cysts require no treatment. If the doctor finds an abscess, the treatment is likely to involve draining it, and a course of antibiotics.

If cancer is found, then cancer treatment, likely to involve surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiation, will be started right away. A cancerous lump could be removed by surgery and the surgeon may also remove lymph nodes close to the tumour to check if the cancer has spread. In some cases, it may become necessary to do a mastectomy, or a surgical removal of the entire breast.

FAQs:الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • I am going to have a breast lump removed. What will the recovery be like?

    A: After a surgery to remove a breast lump, your doctor will prescribe medications to control the pain and prevent infection. Once you return home from the hospital, you will need to take care of the incision. 

    Healing may take some days. Your doctor will tell you what activities you can and cannot do. If stitches are to be removed, you will visit the hospital for this. If you need radiation therapy, it will be started some weeks after the surgery.

  • How often should I get a mammogram if there are no abnormalities in my breasts?

    A: Women are advised to get mammograms periodically so that, if there is any cancer, it can be detected early and treated. How often you need one depends on your age, past medical history, and family history. Speak to your doctor to decide the right schedule for you.

  • I have a fibroadenoma. Is there a chance this may become cancerous?

    A: No, don’t worry, most fibroadenomas don’t increase your risk of getting breast cancer.

  • What kind of nipple discharge is normal and what is not?

    A: If you are not breast-feeding your baby, then any nipple discharge should be checked by a doctor.