What does it mean when you have a lump in your breast? What does it look like and feel? Explore more on the causes, symptoms and treatment of hard movable lump in your breast.
What Causes Lump in Breast that Hurt?
When many people hear about a lump on the breast the first thing they think of is cancer. However, you should know that not all lumps that develop on the breast should be a cause for worry. However, the best thing to do when you realize this condition is to have it checked by your medical provider to ascertain the underlying condition behind the lump on your breast. There are a lot of conditions that will result to a lump on breast some of which will just heal and disappear without your intervention.
There are numerous lumps that can form on your breast that can be benign or non-cancerous; hence they are caused by conditions like change in hormonal levels in women. They experience this problem mostly during menstrual cycle.
Lump on Breast Causes
There are numerous signs that may show up in association with a lump on your breast. Some of the symptoms may be severe and they may call for immediate medical attention.
- Breast pain
A lump on your breast may cause sharp shooting pain especially when you try to touch. This is very common with fibrocystic changes that cause pain in both breasts, although at times one breast is usually more painful than the other. Pain in the breast from fibrocystic changes occur a week before you attend your menstrual period. Thereafter, the pain will capsize gradually when your period starts over.
- Nipple discharge
A breast lump can as well be associated with a discharge from the nipple. This is a clear sign of infection, or it may be cancer, or from small tumors of the brain known as the pituitary glands, which facilitates secretions from the breast. In the case you have an infection on your breast, the discharge secreted with be brown or greenish in color. However, the nipple discharge color cannot be used reliably as an indicator for the diagnosis of cancer. Only your medical provider can conclude that you have cancer after test.
- Skin changes
After a formation of lump on your breast, you realize change in skin color on the area where the lump formed. For example, in the case of cancer there is a condition called fibrosis which the scarring of the underlying structures of the breast resulting in retraction of the breast that thereby lead to dimpling of the skin or flattened nipples. Cancer lump can as well block the drainage of the breast thus causing the skin to change color to peel of an orange.
These are very serious symptoms and the affected person has to visit a medical professional immediately. There are other symptoms that you have to observe such as:
- Pain associated with redness of the skin
- Warmth around the breast
- Tenderness that result from swelling
- Aches all over the body
- Fever with chills
- Breast engorgement
Lump in Breast Hurts or Painful Lump in Breast
Conditions whereby one develops lumps on the breast, or hard lump inside the breast are very common. This usually depends on which period a woman is experiencing these symptoms. For example, when a teenage girl begins to develop breasts, during menstrual periods and pregnancy, women usually experience numerous kinds of breast pain associated with other changes. These lumps on breast are usually painful but not always.
Therefore, a lump on breast associated with a lot of pain is a common condition in women. Those lumps that occur during pregnancy are not usually painful. Also, older women rarely experience a painful lump in their breast. Although pain is usually a point of concern, breast cancer does not base on pain as the only symptom.
Types of Breast Lumps
There are numerous types of lumps that form on the breast. Your lump on breast can be cyclic mastalgia or non-cyclic mastalgia. Cyclic lumps are associated with menstrual cycle while noncyclic ones are not. Some lumps on the breast may be caused by infections and such lumps that will completely disappear as the infection is treated are the ones referred to as noncyclic mastalgia. In case you are not sure of the origin of your lump on breast, it is advisable you seek help from your doctor to make sure that you are not dealing with a serious condition.
Types of lumps on breast
Normally, your breast is connected to some muscles on the chest wall. It is often made up of fatty tissues. Inside the fatty tissues are glands that form milk (lobules). During breast-feeding, milk usually drain from these glands into the breast ducts. If finally leave the ducts into the nipple.
This process can however be disrupted by formation of a lump. There are numerous types of lumps that can develop on the breast. Some of them include the following:
- A fibro-adenoma lump on breast
This is a benign lump on the breast that is common in women who are under the age of 40. Those who are in the 20s are the majority affected by this condition. These types of lumps are the most common benign lumps on breast. They normally occur due to excess growth of the glands and connective tissues inside the breasts. These lumps can be felt as round, firm, and rubbery bumps. They usually move around in the skin when you try to press them. Usually they are not painful.
- Breast cyst lumps
Usually, cysts are more common in women who are approaching menopause, although they can appear at any age. Lumps from cysts are usually oval or round, smooth and firm. Cyst lump on breast usually move slightly when pressed. A cyst may appear on your breast within two weeks prior to your period and go away immediately after the periods.
- Infection lump on breast
Women who are breast feeding are the common culprits of lump on the breast from an infection. This is because the ducts that carry milk to the nipples can become blocked. Also, bacteria can enter the breast through cracks in the nipple. This may end up resulting to development of a collection of pus in the breast. This may be seen as a lump on the breast. You may use a warm compress or antibiotics to bring the infection down. However, women who are not breast feeding can as well develop a lump from infection on their breast.
- Fat necrosis lump
A lump on the breast can as well result from injuries or trauma to the fatty tissue of the breast. These types of lumps usually heal and disappear without your attention after a given period of time. In case it is associated with other symptoms, you may need to remove them.
- A lipoma on breast
This is a fatty growth on the breast that usually occurs deep in the fatty tissue of the breast. These types of lumps are not a cause for worry as they usually heal without your intervention. In case it is large and associated with other symptoms it can be removed.
- A breast cancer lump
This is usually a severe condition that calls for immediate intervention. Breast cancer lump is treatable especially if it is identified in early stages. The lump is usually associated with other symptoms that are clear indication that the patient is suffering from something serious. A cancer lump on breast is normally treated by chemotherapy.
Small Hard Lump in Breast
Your breast can develop small hard lumps especially if you are pregnant. The small hard lumps are sometimes not painful and they may come and go. Normally, it is important to have your breasts checked regularly so that you do not a victim of surprise when you are diagnosed with a serious problem when it is too late. Small hard lumps inside the breast can also be felt in teenagers. During puberty, expect anything strange to occur on your breast since there is increased hormonal activities in the body.
Those women who are above 50 years of age should have their breasts screened regularly since that is the age bracket where cancer is common. In this case, a type of x-ray known as mammogram is carried out to identify early signs of cancer. Most of small hard lumps on the breast are non-cancerous. You may notice small lumps on your breast at least once in a while but in most cases they may not be something to cause an alarm.
Are all Breast Cancer Lumps Hard?
Knowing how your breast feel and looks like normally can be helpful when it comes to realizing a strange lump on it. Identifying a cancer lump on breast early can be a possible one way of making it easy to be treated easily and successfully. Not all lumps on breast that result from cancer are hard. A cancer lump can as well begin as a painless soft lump which after sometimes you may start to experience some serious symptoms.
Breast cancer is rarely identified by just looking at how the lump feels or looks like. In case you have a lump on your breast you have to visit your doctor who may carry out some tests to rule out if it is cancer or not. Knowing what to look for when it comes to cancer lump should not take a place of your regular mammograms and other breast screening tests. This is because, screening can help to identify a lump on breast from cancer while still on its early stages.
A breast cancer is commonly identified with a lump or a hard mass that is painless and irregular in shape. However, you may have a breast cancer while the lump has not yet been identified or you can have a tender, soft, or rounded mass also from cancer. The lumps can also be painful. Therefore, it is important to have any breast mass checked by your doctor to ascertain if it is cancer or just a benign.
What Does a Lump in your Breast feel like?
Feeling the lump on breast can also be helpful when it comes to finding out the cause of the lump but not always. You can know how the lump feels like by touching it. In most cases, a cancerous lump is usually hard movable irregular lump but in some cases it can be tender and soft to touch. A cyst on breast is normally soft with an oval or round shape. It is most soft when felt with a hand.
When a lump on your breast is painful with or without touch, it is usually infected. If it is associated with severe symptoms, it is important that you visit your doctor for treatment. Since mammogram cannot identify every type of cancer, a patient should be aware of changes that take place in your breast and know the symptoms of lump on breast that are dangerous.
What are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer beside a Lump?
Commonly, a lump on breast is associated with a lump or a mass that is hard to touch and it is usually irregular in shape. Also, breast cancer causes your lymph nodes in the armpit to swell up. For breast cancer, you can carry out a self-check up by running your opposite hand on the chest from up to down while the hand on the affected side is carried up. In this case, you will end up feeling a sharp pain every moment you touch the area where the lump is to develop.
Breast cancer has much more symptoms that you should observe apart from a mass or lump on breast. A part from a lump, you have to watch out the following symptoms for breast cancer:
- The affected breast nipple may turn inwards or retracted
- The area around the lump appear red, scaling or thickening of the nipple
- Change in texture of the breast skin
- A clear or bloody discharge may be seen oozing from the nipple, or a milky discharge for those who are breast feeding
- A dimpled skin on the breast
- Nipple pain or breast pain
- Change in size and shape of the breast
When you visit your doctor, make sure you explain to him/her in case you feel any of the above symptoms. This is because the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated the, the higher your chances of healing it successfully.
Can a benign Breast Lump turn into Cancer?
In is not easy for lump on breast to develop into cancer. However, if a persisting lump on breast is not treated, it can result to more serious complications like cancer. Not unless a lump is known to be cyclic, every bump on the breast that is suspected to be caused by infection should be treated immediately. Lumps that result from change in hormonal level in the body of women usually disappear as the condition is restored to the normal level.
One of the ways you can use to make sure that your lump on breast has not turned into cancer is by use of ultrasound. By this means, your doctor
Breast Lump Pictures
If you want to know more about breast lumps is good that you have information on how each condition that cause a lump on breast looks like. In this case, we have included some pictures in this post that will help you know how different lumps that form on breasts appear.
Lump in Breast that Moves
There are cases where a lump on your breast can be movable. Lumps that are movable can be cysts on breast. Cysts are not harmful and they are usually drained by a medical practitioner. They are usually soft lumps that are filled with fluid with some debris which makes them to be raised on the skin. Cysts are easily treated and therefore you should not let them be a cause of worry. In some cases the cyst may drain away on its own.
Also you can develop a soft, smooth, round lump that moves a little when you press on it. In some cases these lumps may cause pain when touched and they can be small or large. No matter the case, if you find that a lump on breast is causing you more problems, do not hesitate to have your doctor look at it because you may not want to lose your breast just because of something that just started like a small lump that moves around.
Breast Lump Removal and Treatment
The removal of a breast lump can involve a surgery just in the cases whereby a lump on breast is from cancer. During the surgery, the tissue around the cancer lump is also removed. This type of surgery is usually referred to as lumpectomy. When a noncancerous tumor such as a fibro-adenoma of the breast is removed, this process is usually referred to as an excisional breast biopsy, instead of a lumpectomy.
How the lump removal is done
There are cases where a health care provider can’t feel the lump when carrying out the examination. However, in case it is seen on imaging results, wire localization will be done then followed by surgery. The following are things carried during this process:
- First, a radiologist normally uses a mammogram or an ultrasound by placing a needle wire near the abnormal area of the breast. This normally helps the surgeon to know where the breast cancer is so that it can be removed.
- Lump on breast is removed from an outpatient by surgery most of the time. Your doctor will give you either a general anesthesia or a local anesthesia. The procedure usually takes for about 1 hour.
- After that, the surgeon then makes a small cut through your breast. The cancer with some of the breast tissue that occurs around it is removed. A pathologist then examines a sample of the removed tissue from cancer lump on breast to make sure all the infection has been removed.
- If it happens no cancer cells are found on the edges of the removed tissue, this is commonly known as a clear margin.
- Also the surgeon can also remove lymph nodes from the armpit to confirm if the cancer has spread to them.