It is not uncommon for most women to experience lumps in breast with associated pain and swelling. Lumps in breast doesn’t necessarily indicate breast cancer. Slight lumps in breasts may not be an issue of concern, however, you may need to seek medical attention if these lumps begins to feel like hard bumps. They may point presence of benign or malignant cancer cell growth.
What Breast Lump Feels Like
The appearance of lumps in the breasts may be caused by various reasons. These include:
Small and movable breast lump
These type of lumps are also described as breast mouse, they are usually painless. However, it has a rubber like nature and may appear as tender structures. This can be caused by fibroadenoma which results from extreme secretions from some breast glands and associated connective tissue growth.
Small movable lump in breast does not usually point to cancerous growth. Ensure a doctor examines you to properly diagnose the exact cause and treatment.
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Painful breast lump
The lump produces pain and burning sensation in the breasts which may start in the breast and radiate to the armpits. These pains may be caused by:
- Cyclical pain which starts one week before menstrual cycle
- Non-cyclicalwhich may appear at any time and include the surrounding tissues
Painful lumps do not necessarily mean cancerous growth. Consult your doctor. Some dietary changes can help control the condition.
General lumpiness of breasts
In this case, the breast appears to be lumpy and feels heavier especially during menstrual periods. Pain may or may not be present along with lumps. It is more common in females before they hit menopause. The cause is diffuse nodularity in the breasts.
General lumpiness in breasts is not uncommon in females. Women should also note any other unusual changes and report early to a doctor.
Grape-shaped breast Lump
This occurs when the lumps feels soft and tender. They are smooth and movable. The grape shaped lumps become painful just before the period commences. They appear to be grape-like because of the presence of cysts which contain fluid in their structures. The cysts may feel softer if they are on the upper surface and harder if they are found in deeper tissues.
If left untreated, grape shaped lumpy breasts are painful. Consult your doctor. They may remove the fluid from the cysts.
Painless, Fixed, Hard and Irregular breast lumps
In some cases, breast lump appears as a hard and uneven lump with no associated pain. This could indicate a benign cancerous growth, or because of an extra growth in the breast nodules.
Consult your doctor immediately for further exam and treatment.
Small Lump Under Areola
This is mostly painful. The lump under areola may release a thick blood stained discharge. The development of lump under the areola is usually suggests an intraductal papilloma.
Treatment can be done through simple life style changes. Surgery may be performed to remove the lump if it grows too large.
How to self-examine your breasts
Most of the females detect any changes in their breast through simple palpation or touching during self-breast examination. Hard and solid tumors are easier to identify and locate through fingers. The following steps should help you conduct an effective self-examination of your breasts to detect any abnormality.
Stand in front of a mirror such that your arms are placed on the hips, then look in the mirror to see if the breasts are of normal shape and size.
While still standing, raise your hands and look in the mirror for the same shape and size. Note your nipples for any discharge.
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Lie down on a flat surface and place the fingers of right hand over your left breast. Then move the fingers over your breast in a rotating position such that the fingers move over the surface smoothly. Then examine the right breast using fingers of your left hand.
Check the breasts when they are wet while having bath or taking shower, either in sitting or standing position. Follow the same technique to cover all parts, i.e. rotation movement of fingers.
When to See a Doctor
See your doctor immediately if you notice:
- new breast lump
- any discharge coming out of nipple
- breast lump which in increasing in size
- constant pain in breast
- Redness in breast
Image source: Medicalnewstoday
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