Although most breast changes, like having a breast lump, are a cause for worry, not all lumps are a sign of breast cancer. On the other hand, if you notice a breast lump or any other abnormal change with your breast, see your doctor as soon as possible. This is because it’s important to have the lump checked to ascertain if it’s breast cancer or not. Don’t leave it to chance or self-diagnose.
There are two types of breast lumps:
- Malignant (cancerous)
- Benign (non-cancerous)
Causes of Benign Breast Lumps
There are different causes of benign breast lumps, and the most common are:
- Breast Cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs found in one or both breasts and are usually tender to the touch. Their size also varies, and you could have just one breast cyst, or many. Sometimes cysts can go away on their own, or if treatment is required, it involves draining the fluid with a needle.
- Hormonal changes: Breast cysts caused by shifting hormones usually appear in women who are between ages 30 and 50 years. The lumps are usually hard or rubbery and tend to enlarge quickly. In addition to the lumps, you might also have breast discharge. The breast lumps caused by hormonal changes usually don’t require treatment, but your doctor can offer options of how to ease them.
- Fibroadenomas: These is the most common cause of benign breast lumps. They usually occur among women who are ages 20-30 years. They are solid and rubbery to the touch, and usually shift around when pushed. Treatment involves surgical removal.
What You Should Do If You Find a Breast Lump
When you find a breast lump, do not panic. This is the first and most important thing you should do. Not all breast lumps are cancerous. Call your doctor and have an appointment as soon as possible for an evaluation. Other breast changes you should note include:
- Thickening in any area of your breast that feels different
- Discharge, whether bloody or clear, from your nipples
- Skin irritation on your breast
- Changes in the size, shape, or contour of your breast
- A change in how your nipple looks or feels
- Breast pain that doesn’t go away
If you are unsure about your breast lump, or any changes with your breasts, book your appointment as soon as possible with your doctor. At King’s College Hospital London Dubai, our Breast Care Clinic caters to most types of breast lumps, whether malignant or benign. For more information on breast cancer and breast care, book an appointment below.