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Detecting Breast Lumps Early: Your Guide to Awareness

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Detecting Breast Lumps Early: Your Guide to Awareness

Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Posted on 03/19/2024 by Dr. Namrata Gupta



Introduction

Have you been experiencing any changes in your breast’s skin texture, or lumps? If yes, then book your appointment with CK Birla Hospitals in Jaipur as these are the signs of breast lumps. Usually, it is believed that breast lumps indicate breast cancer, then you must know that it is a myth. While some breast lumps are benign, some might indicate cancer. Hence, the best way to find out is by getting in touch with the healthcare provider.

Breast lumps are very common and most females experience this problem once in their lifetime during menstrual cycles or due to genetic factors, hormonal changes, lifestyle choices, etc. It is vital that you are well aware of the condition if you suspect any of the breast lump symptoms. So, to ease things out for you, in this blog we will share comprehensive information on breast lumps, make sure to give it a read till the end. However, kindly note that this information is research-based, and we do not encourage overlooking the doctor’s consultation in any way. If you want to consult a gynecologist in Jaipur, you can consider visiting RBH Hospital.

What is a Breast Lump?

A breast lump is a condition that causes mass or growth to form in a female's breast. It is often not cancerous, while breast lumps are known to be a symptom of breast cancer. As per one research, it is identified that 8 out of 10 are benign. If you suspect a lump in your breast, you don’t have to get anxious or apprehensive. Make sure to consult a healthcare expert to identify the breast lumps cause. They will help you determine the test's requirement for treatment. You must familiarize yourself with the appearance of your breasts and feel them so that you can observe changes.

What are the types of Breast Lumps?

Breast lumps vary depending on their type and are brought on by several elements. Here is a comprehensive look at the different types of breast lumps:

  • Fibroadenomas: They are benign breast lumps formed of tissues that are glandular and connective. They are firm, feel rubbery, and are common in females who are below 30.
  • Cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that appear like a lump. Cysts differ depending on their size and patients might feel tenderness or pain sometimes. These are seen in women who are in the premenopausal stage.
  • Breast abscesses: This type is an assemblage of pus that grows in breast tissue because of infection. This type causes redness, warmth, swelling, and tenderness, requiring clinical treatment that often involves drainage and antibiotics.
  • Fat necrosis: It happens when there is harm or trauma to the breast’s fatty tissues. This type occurs due to injury, radiation therapy, or surgery.
  • Intraductal papillomas: These lumps are small and appear like warts formed in the breast’s milk ducts. Usually, they are non-cancerous, however, it might lead to bloody nipple discharge.
  • Breast cancer: Even if most breast lumps are not cancerous, some can pose the risk of cancer. This type can occur as a breast tissue thickening or lump in the breast. It is important to notice signs like nipple discharge, skin dimpling, breast changes, nipple changes, etc.

What are the symptoms of Breast Lump?

The symptoms of breast lumps differ depending on the underlying cause. However, there are certain common symptoms you must be mindful of, and here are some of them: 

  • Lump presence: If you suspect a breast lump, you must notice a lump or feeling of a distinct mass in the breast tissue or near your underarms. The lump would be smooth, irregular in shape, smooth, and not painful. 
  • Breast size or shape changes: You will notice sudden changes in your breast size or shape like asymmetry between the breast or swelling. 
  • Skin changes: Skin texture or appearance changes are one of the signs of breast lumps. It usually involves puckering, redness, dimpling, or skin thickening.
  • Changes in the nipples: Another sign of breast lumps is changes in the nipple position or its appearance like flattening, retraction, or inversion. 
  • Tenderness or pain: Even if some breast lumps don’t cause pain, others might lead to tenderness or discomfort. 
  • Breast enlargement or swelling: In certain cases, a breast lump often causes swelling in the complete breast or some portion of the breast and also causes enlargement. 
  • Breast sensation changes: Not everyone experiences this symptom, but some women come across changes in their breast sensation or nipple like itching, tingling, or fullness feeling. 

What are Breast Lump Causes?

Breast lumps have several causes that range from non-cancerous conditions to severe problems such as breast cancer. Here are some of the common breast lump causes that you must be aware of:

  • Fibrocystic changes: Hormonal changes during periods lead to breast tissue changes causing the growth of benign lumps or cysts.
  • Fibroadenomas: These are breast tumors but are noncancerous and formed of connective tissue and glandular. Younger women usually experience this and is often not painful.
  • Cysts: These fluid-filled sacs grow in the tissue of breasts and keep wavering when it comes to tenderness and size with the menstrual cycle. Premenopausal females experience this type of breast lump.
  • Trauma or injuries: If any woman experiences breast trauma like injury or a blow, then it causes the formation of a lump in the breast area. It can lead to conditions like fat necrosis.
  • Infections: If there are infections in the breast tissue like breast abscesses or mastitis, it causes painful lumps, and redness leading to swelling or a feeling of warmth in the area.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal constituents like pregnancy, puberty, menopausal, or breastfeeding also cause the formation of a breast lump.
  • Breast cancer: This can be one of the main causes of a breast lump, however, most breast lumps are benign. But if you experience signs like nipple discharge, skin dimpling, etc. make sure to get in touch with your healthcare provider.
  • Genetic factors: Some females are at a high risk of growing breast lumps or cancer because of genetic factors, like BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations.

How to check for Breast Lumps at home?

Here are some tips that can assist you to check breast lumps at home:

  • First, make sure there is a mirror around where you can see your breasts. Then, start inspecting breast changes like skin texture, shape, or size.
  • Elevate your arms overhead and find changes in symmetry or contour.
  • You can palpate the complete breast area in circular motions by using the finger pads, involving your armpit area.
  • Look for any strange lumps, texture changes, or thickness.
  • Make sure to repeat this self-exam test every month after your periods end. If you notice anything that is not normal, consult your doctor immediately.

How are Breast Lumps diagnosed?

Healthcare experts involve a series of steps and tests to confirm the diagnosis. Here is how breast lumps are detected:

  • Diagnostic tests like ultrasound, MRI, and mammograms are involved to evaluate the lump attributes.
  • If required, the healthcare expert might involve a fine-needle biopsy to collect a sample of the tissue for microscopic assessment. It will help in determining if the lumps are benign or malignant.
  • Imaging tests are recommended depending on the test results of a biopsy to direct decisions for treatment.
  • It is important to go for frequent follow-up appointments and screenings to monitor breast changes.

What are the options for Breast Lump treatment?

The treatment for breast lumps entirely depends on its underlying cause. However, here are some of the common options of treatment as per the type:

  • Benign lumps can be monitored over time as usually, these types of lumps do not require treatment. 
  • Aspiration is involved by healthcare experts sometimes for fluid removal from cysts for benign lumps.
  • Two main types require surgical removal that are fibroadenomas and papillomas.
  • For infections, there is only one way of treatment that is medications. 
  • Breast cancer treatment options involve targeted therapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery.

How do you cure Breast Lumps naturally?

If you want to cure breast lumps naturally at home, however, it is not possible, but some lifestyle modifications and home remedies assist in managing the symptoms or reducing factors:

  • Make sure to maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercise
  • Restrict your intake of alcohol and quit smoking 
  • Involve antioxidants foods including phytoestrogens like vegetables, whole grains, and fruits 
  • Get into the practice of stress-reduction methods such as yoga or meditation 
  • Get into the habit of breast self-exams and screening to notice changes and for prompt medical action

Conclusion

In conclusion, millions of people across the world are still affected by breast cancer and is a serious health apprehension. However, research and treatment have advanced and resulted in improved results, initial detection is very important. With improved awareness, promoting regular screenings, and supporting healthy lifestyle modifications, women can take charge of their breast health. By working together, it becomes easy to support people affected by the disease and work toward the day when breast cancer is no longer a harmful disease.

FAQ

 

Are breast lumps painful?

Not all breast lumps are painful, but lumps caused by breast cancer are painful and require immediate medical attention for treatment purposes.

Is breast lump normal?

Yes, breast lumps are normal and can happen due to several reasons like hormonal fluctuations, genetic factors, cysts, etc. 

Can a breast lump that hurts be cancer?

Yes, breast lumps that are painful or hurt indicate the presence of breast cancer and it requires treatment at the earliest to avoid serious complications.

How to cure breast lump without surgery?

You can cure breast lumps without surgery naturally by following healthy lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, limiting your intake of alcohol, quitting smoking, and visiting a healthcare professional for regular breast screenings.

Are breast lumps normal during periods?

Yes, breast lumps are normal during periods as they occur due to hormonal changes. However, they are benign and don’t pose any serious risk, it is still a good idea to visit a healthcare expert,