By Medicover Hospitals / 18 Jan 2021
A mass that forms in the breast is a breast lump. Depending on the type, breast lumps can be large or small and may feel hard or spongy. Some lumps are painful, while others go unnoticed until identified during an imaging test.
- What is Breast lumps?
- When to visit a Doctor?
- Home remedies
What is Breast lumps?
A breast lump is a localized swelling, lump, or lump in the breast that feels different from the surrounding breast tissue or the breast tissue in the same area of the other breast. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, which means they are benign. You may be surprised to find a breast lump, but it is important to remember that it may not affect your health in the long run. There are various reasons why breast lumps form. Most lumps are not cancerous and pose no risk.
The composition of the breast tissue can vary, depending on the function. They will feel and look different. Fibrous connective tissue, fatty tissue, nerves, blood vessels, and lymph nodes also exist in the breast.
Each part of the breast can respond in various ways to changes in body chemistry. The vibrations and texture of the breasts are influenced by these changes and can impact the formation of lumps in the breasts.
A lump in your breast can be caused by many potential causes, including:
- breast cysts, which are soft, fluid-filled sacs
- milk cysts, which refer to milk-filled sacs that can occur during breastfeeding
- fibrocystic breasts, a condition in which the breast tissue has a lumpy texture and is sometimes accompanied by pain
- fibroadenoma, which is non-cancerous, rubbery lumps that move easily within the breast tissue and rarely become cancerous
- hamartoma, which is a benign tumor-like growth
- Intraductal papilloma, which refers to a small tumor in a milk duct that is not cancerous
- lipoma, which is a slow-growing, non-cancerous fatty lump
- mastitis or a breast infection
- breast cancer
A manual breast exam is an important screening method for detecting cancer and is the first step in evaluating a breast lump. Unfortunately, a manual breast exam is not accurate. However, it is necessary to estimate the position of the mass, if a mass can be felt manually so that mammography or other diagnostic testing can concentrate on the precise region. Any irregular skin changes that may be a symptom of breast cancer are often inspected by a doctor. Since the manual exam can miss breast cancer, mammography is also an important screening tool.
Ultrasound is useful in evaluating breast lumps. You can distinguish between a cyst that is filled with fluid, and a solid lump (which may or may not be cancerous). Determining whether it is a cyst or a solid mass is the first step in determining a breast lump. This is best done by conducting an ultrasound exam. In a young woman, where a benign cyst is anticipated, and the ultrasound is confirmatory, no procedure or biopsy may be required. If it is not clear on ultrasound whether the lump is completely cystic, further evaluation is generally recommended.
Cancers normally have a larger flow of blood than non-cancerous growths. The images obtained from an MRI can help determine if a particular area is cancerous since the MRI exhibits greater contrast in those areas with a greater blood supply. In most cases, MRI is done if the results of mammography and ultrasound evaluations are inconclusive.
MRI also has limitations. For example, calcium deposits, which can be identified by mammography and can be a symptom of cancer, can not be detected by MRI.
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that helps identify abnormalities in the breasts. To see if the breast tissue has improved, a diagnostic mammogram may be compared to prior screening mammograms, if accessible.
This is a procedure to remove a tissue sample for analysis under a microscope. There are several forms of biopsy for the breast:
- Fine-needle aspiration biopsy:a tissue sample is taken during a fine needle aspiration
- Core needle biopsy:uses ultrasound as a guide; a larger needle is used to obtain a tissue sample
- Vacuum-assisted biopsy:a vacuum probe is inserted into a small incision in the skin and a tissue sample is removed using ultrasound as a guide
- Stereotactic biopsy:a mammogram takes pictures from different angles and a tissue sample is taken with a needle
- Surgical biopsy (excisional biopsy):the entire breast lump is removed, along with the surrounding tissue
- Surgical biopsy (incisional biopsy):only part of the lump is removed
Before a treatment plan can be developed, the doctor needs to determine the cause of your breast lump. Not all breast lumps will require treatment.
There are other causes of breast lumps that do not require any treatment. If you have a lump in your breast from an injury, your doctor may recommend that you give your breast time to heal.
If a lump is shown to be cancer, surgery is usually done. The surgeon will explain the appropriate surgical options and provide you with the information necessary to make this decision.
Your treatment will depend on the type of breast cancer you have, the size and location of the tumor, and whether cancer has spread beyond the breast. One of the following radiation therapy treatments may be used after surgery to ensure that microscopic cancer cells are killed:
- lumpectomy or removal of the lump
- mastectomy, which refers to the removal of breast tissue
- chemotherapy, which uses drugs to fight or destroy cancer
- radiation, a treatment that uses rays or radioactive materials to fight cancer
That's why it's important not to jump to conclusions if you find a lump in your breast. Your doctor can help determine if further testing is necessary for the lump and if any treatment is needed.
- External beam therapy
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Brachytherapy (interstitial therapy)
When to visit a Doctor?
Remember, most breast lumps are not cancerous. To have a breast lump assessed, make an appointment, especially if:
- The lump feels firm or fixed.
- The lump does not go away after four to six weeks.
- You notice changes in the skin of the breast, such as redness, crusting, dimpling, or wrinkling.
- Has discharge, possibly bloody, from the nipple
- Your nipple is turned inward and is not normally positioned that way.
- You may feel a lump in your armpit and it seems to get bigger
- discover a new lump
- one area of your breast is noticeably different from the rest
- a lump does not go away after menstruation
- a lump changes or grows
- your chest is bruised for no apparent reason
- the skin on your breast is red or begins to pucker up like an orange peel
- has an inverted nipple (if it was not always inverted)
- notice a bloody discharge from the nipple
- Iodine: Natural doctors often prescribe iodine as a nutritional supplement. Breast tenderness may indicate an iodine deficiency. Iodine helps the body eliminate excess estrogen while making cells less responsive to it.
- Wear a support bra: Supporting your breasts in a well-fitting bra can help alleviate some discomfort.
- Apply a compress: It can help alleviate pain with a warm compress or an ice pack.
- Avoid caffeine
- Hot compress: Simple heat is the most recommended and effective home measure to drain or shrink cysts.
- Tea tree oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Aloe vera
- Castor oil
- Witch hazel
Frequently Asked Questions:
An epidermal inclusion cyst of the breast is a rare benign skin or subcutaneous lesion in the breast tissue. It may lead to serious complications, such as spontaneous rupture or malignancy, even though it is a benign mass.
The most prominent symptom of breast cancer is a lump or mass in the breast. The lumps are usually hard and painless, although some are painful.
Nipple discharge is a normal part of breast function during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It can also be associated with menstrual hormonal changes and fibrocystic changes.
Women, breast lump discovery, and associated stress - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07399339209515975
The diagnostic accuracy of fine needle aspiration cytology versus core needle biopsy for palpable breast lump(s) - https://europepmc.org/article/med/15756351
Evaluating Nipple Discharge - https://journals.lww.com/obgynsurvey/Abstract/2006/04000/Evaluating_Nipple_Discharge.25