Breast lumps are common and have a number of different causes.
Although most lumps aren’t breast cancer, any unusual changes to the breasts should be checked by a doctor as soon as possible. If your doctor finds a lump on examination, they will routinely refer you to be seen by a hospital specialist.
There are several types of benign (non-cancerous) breast lump, most of which are harmless and are caused by hormonal changes that occur at different times in a woman’s life, such as during the menstrual cycle.
Read More About: Causes of Breast Lumps
It’s important to be “breast aware” so you can identify any problems in your breasts and get them checked out as soon as possible. This means being familiar with your breasts and what is normal for them, and examining them regularly for any changes.
If you are 50 years or over, it’s also important to attend Breast Cancer Screening appointments every three years, where a type of X-ray called a mammogram will be carried out to look for early signs of cancer.
But don’t wait until your next screening appointment if you notice any problems in your breast. See your doctor right away.
It is important you see your doctor as soon as possible if you notice a lump in your breasts so a cause can be confirmed. Finding a lump in your breast can be a worry, but around 90% of breast lumps are benign.
You also should see your doctor if you notice any other changes to one or both of your breasts, such as:
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will then ask your permission to examine your breasts. You should also be asked whether you’d like another staff member – such as a practice nurse – to be present while your breast is being examined.
Your doctor may then refer you for further tests, such as an ultrasound scan and mammogram, to determine the cause.
Being referred for further testing can be scary, but it does not necessarily mean your doctor thinks you have breast cancer. Most people who have these further tests are eventually found to have a benign condition. Read more about Diagnosing Breast Lumps.
Benign breast lumps do not necessarily require any treatment, although treatment may be recommended if the lump is particularly large, is getting bigger, or is causing other symptoms such as pain.
Medication can often help relieve breast pain, and antibiotics can treat any bacterial infections that may have caused the lump to develop.
In some cases, a needle may need to be used to drain away any fluid or pus within the breast lump. Local anaesthetic will be used to numb the area being treated so you don’t feel any pain while this is carried out.
Occasionally, surgery may be carried out to cut out the lump. This will normally be done under general anaesthetic (where you are asleep) and you will usually be able to go home the same day. Read more about Treating Breast Lumps.
Read More ON:
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Symptoms of Breast Cancer in Men
Causes of Breast Cancer
Diagnosing Breast Cancer
Treating Breast Cancer
Preventing Breast Cancer
Living with Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Screening
Source: NHS UK