Breast is an organ that goes through numerous changes starting from puberty, to monthly menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and even while undergoing menopause period. Most of the changes that occur in your breast during these periods are very normal and should not cause much concern. However, there are changes that may call for medical attention. For example, if you develop a major painful lump in breast, it may cause discomfort that may need you to involve your doctor.
Painful Lump in Breast Causes
Lumps that form in breast may come in many forms such as cysts, adenomas, and even papillomas. The bumps differ in shape, size, location and even the causes and treatments used to treat them. Researches have revealed that almost half of women have lumpy breasts, and fibrocystic changes. Most of the painful lumps that form in your breast are benign and they are not sign of cancer. But if you find out that you have a painful lump in breast that cause you a lot of discomfort you should have your medical provider look at it to make sure that it is not something serious.
As we said development of bumps in breast is very common in women and the lump can be soft or hard, painful or without pain. It mostly depends on which period a woman is experiencing. There are many different reasons that can lead a woman to develop a lump on the breast that is painful. Knowing why you develop a lump on your breast can be very helpful when it comes to deciding on the correct treatment to use to get rid of the bump.
Causes of painful breast lumps
- Hormonal changes
Hormonal activities are very high in women especially during their menstrual cycle, when pregnant and while undergoing perimenopause period. During these periods the level of estrogen may go up thereby causing overproduction of oil in the body some of which may lead to a lump development on the skin including the breast. The lump formed may sometimes be painful and some women even find it hard to bend while carrying out their house chores. These types of lumps should never cause anxiety since it will disappear without any treatment after the period you are undergoing is over.
- Unhygienic lifestyle
Women are supposed to maintain a high standard of hygiene especially in the areas around the breast. This is because this area is always covered and therefore it is always warm and moist more so for breastfeeding women. All these conditions are very encouraging when it comes to yeast infection which may appear as a rash or a painful lump in breast. Therefore, women whose hygiene is poor are likely to develop a breast lump easily even from the clogging of the pore on the area.
- Tight fitted bras
This is another cause of breast lumps that many women are not aware of. The lump is likely to form where the bra puts more pressure on the skin. Moreover, tight bras won’t allow your skin around the breast to carry out its metabolic activities properly, and therefore may result into breast lumps.
There are many other conditions that can cause a bump to develop on your breast. Carry out your own check up to see if you are under a condition that may cause you a painful lump in breast.
The inflammation that occurs on the breast is referred to as mastitis. This is very common in women who are breastfeeding. In case the skin of the nipple around the areola is cracked or traumatized when nursing, bacteria or any other disease causing organism can enter the skin through the wound and result in infections. Also in women who are lactating, they may develop a hard clogged milk duct are which may appear as painful lump in breast. An infection can either results into deep pockets of pus where by the infection may look like it is growing deep into the breast, or may form a wide area of a reddened skin on the breast.
- Injuries to the breast
In case you accidentally injure your breast, tiny blood vessels inside the breast can rupture to cause a localized bleeding in the area also known as hematoma which may be felt like a painful lump inside the breast. Also, if a trauma occurs to your breast it may result in damage to the fat cells that are found in the breast tissue, causing a condition commonly referred to as fat necrosis. Injury on its own can also cause a lump in the breast that is very painful in terms of swelling.
These types of lumps are benign and should not cause alarm. You can treat them by a cold compress or warm compress which may help in relieving pain.
- Cancer lump on breast
This is a condition no woman would want to hear about. This condition is rare though it can occur to anyone. The research from the American cancer research suggests that this is the most type of cancer that is affecting women. Cancer can cause either a painful lump in breast or a lump that is not painful. This will depend on the stage at which the infection has reached.
All lumps that form on breast are treatable and even cancer so long as the condition is realized early enough before it is severe.
Types of non-cancerous lumps that form on breast
There are many types of painful lumps that can develop on your breast. Some of them may be a cause for alarm while others and disappear without our concern. Some of these painful bumps include the following:
These are benign bumps that are very common in women. They mostly occur in women who are at the age of 30-35 years although they can as well occur in women under that age. They can be described as solid, firm tumors that are painless and may sometimes be slightly tender. They grow quickly sometimes especially in women who are pregnant and in teenagers.
- Breast cyst
They are fluid filled sac-like lumps that develop in breast tissue and they are non-cancerous. They usually affect women at the age of 35years and they are very common. They usually vary in size and they may be tender to touch.
What do Breast Cancer Lumps feel like?
Usually, breast cancer occurs when there is excess growth of malignant cells in the breast. This is the most cancer that appears in women although even men can also be affected. The exact cause of breast cancer is not known, however, some women have a higher chance of getting it than others. If the cancer cells grow slowly and do not invade other tissues, they result in lumps that are not usually considered dangerous to health.
It is normally hard to detect breast cancer in the early stages. Some people may experience breast cancer through symptoms like painful lump in breast, swelling and skin changes apart from the obvious symptoms. Researches have confirmed that most breast cancer cases usually show up in their first cases as a mass or a lump. Some of the other symptoms you may observe or feel include:
- Pain from the nipple or the whole breast
- Swelling and irritation involved with color change of the affected breast
- Retraction of the nipple
- A sore on the breast or nipple that does not heal
- Nipple discharge
- Tenderness or enlarged glands under the arm and the neck area
Painful Lump under Breast Bra Line
Your bra line may exert pressure on your breast more so if your bra is ill fitted. This may result in poor perspiration or general activities of the skin surrounding the breast. For example, when pores are closed this means it will be hard to contact it activity of losing excess oil and sweat therefore making them to be clogged inside the breast skin. This may eventually result in a development of a bump which may become very painful if it infected.
It is very important to go measure your burst size, ad acquire bras that fit you well to avoid issues that are associated with tight bras. Apart from painful lump in breast, tight bra line may cause back pains and head ache due to restricted efficient flow of blood and other fluids to the organs.
Sudden Painful Lump in Breast
As we all know women undergo a lot of life changes which affect the normal appearance of the breasts. During puberty, menstrual cycle and perimenopause period, there are increased hormonal activities in a woman’s body which may result in an abrupt development of a painful lump in breast. Other more activities can as well result in a sudden development of a lump on your breast such as pressure exerted on the breast by the bra line.
Most of the causes of breast lumps that we have talked above can result in a sudden development of a bump on the breast. What you have to be keen with is the other symptoms that are associated with the breast lump.
Breast Lumps Pictures
In case you are interested in knowing how breast lumps look like, is first you have the information on each and every condition that cause painful breast lump and its symptoms. You can relate the information we have shared above on causes of painful lump in breast with the pictures we have provided here so that you are able to know the condition you are experiencing or you are looking for. The pictures represent the different types of lumps that form on the breast.
How to Get Rid of Painful Lump in Breast
There are numerous ways a breast lump can be eliminated. This majorly depends on the issue behind the development of the painful bump in the breast. Treatment may also vary according to the seriousness of the condition. There are many researches that prove some home remedies to be excellent while dealing with breast lumps. However, serious conditions like cancer should be address in the doctor’s office.
Painful lump in breast treatment
The doctor may carry out some basic test to ascertain the cause of the lump. There are many treatments that may be done ranging from surgery, oral medication, topical ointment or creams and even injection medication. If the lump is from cancer then treatment may involve surgery to remove out the cancer cells. All the tissues that surround the cancer cells are also removed by a process referred to as lumpectomy.
When it is the removal of a non-cancerous lump on breast such as the fibro-adenoma, the process of removal is usually referred to as an excisional breast biopsy. There may be some cases where the health care provider may not feel the lump when an examination is being done. In the case the painful lump is seen on the imaging results, wire localization may be carried out before the surgery.
Home remedies for painful lump in breast
In most cases, breast lumps occur in women who are aged between 30-50 years. There are numerous home remedies you can use to treat painful lumps on your breasts; however, you have to take caution not to treat at home a condition that is beyond your understanding. The home treatments involve the following:
- Cold compress
This will be very helpful in the case your breast is tender with increased inflammation due to a painful breast lump. While using ice do not allow it directly on your skin as it may damage the skin cells. Just crush some ice in a plastic bag and cover it with a towel before b applying it on the affected area. Remove after every ten minutes until you start feeling some relief.
- Warm compress
In case you cannot access ice pack, you may use a hot pack which may deliver same results. A warm compress is said to facilitate faster movement of fluids to and from the affected area hence relieving the swelling caused by a painful lump on your breast. Dip a face towel in warm water and apply it on the affected breast. Repeat the process severally until the water loses the warmth. Do it at least twice in a day for several days until you realize some improvements.
- Avoid drinks like tea and coffee
You may need also to practice some preventive measures. If you are a person who is frequently affected by bumps on your breasts you may need to avoid some drinks such as tea, coffee and soft drinks. Also alcohol will not be advisable to drink. All these drinks are believed to produce stress hormones in the body, which may encourage formation of lumps on the skin.
- Eat fat fish
It is also recommended that if you want to prevent breast lumps, try eating fish fat that contains omega 3 fats. Some of the fishes that contain this oil are salmon and mackerel. Also, feeding on fish will supply you with iodine which is very essential in the body. In case you have iodine deficiency you may frequently develop painful bumps on your breasts.
- Eat whole grain foods
It is highly advisable to always eat whole grain foods so that you receive a high amount of fiber. Fiber is very essential when it comes to preventing hormone fluctuation, which is one of the major causes of painful lump in breast. Whole grain foods may include beans, peas, brown rice, fruits and bread made from whole wheat.
- Reduce or avoid meat
In case you are having problems with lumps in your breasts, it is better if you avoid meat intake for a while. Stop eating chicken and beef as these foods are said to contain hormones. When you introduce extra hormones in your body they will worsen the development of lumps in breasts thus causing you more problems. In case have to eat any meat, find that which does not contain hormones. These can be found in meat health food stores.
- Vitamin E
This is considered to be a very good remedy when it comes to painful lump in breast as it deals with pain and tenderness. Vitamin E is found in foods such as peanuts, soybeans, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, pine nuts, vegetables and many more. You can visit your nutritionist who may advise you on the vitamin E foods that are available in your area.
- Natural diuretics
This involves things such as cucumber and cabbage. They help in eliminating extra fluids from the body which reduce the swelling that result from breast lump. Do not use the diuretics acquired from the stores as they may decrease the amount of potassium in the body. This can mess up with the balance of electrolytes in the body hence affecting the glucose production in your body greatly.
- Vitamin A
Pain in the breast that results from lump can also be eliminated by increasing your intake of vitamin A foods. While doing this make sure you do not take vitamin A in excess as it may result in toxicity. You can take foods that are rich in beta-carotene like oranges and any red colored foods.
- Vitamin B6
Painful breast lump can also be treated by eating foods rich in vitamin B6. These vitamins can help in bringing the imbalanced hormone levels back to normal by helping the body process estrogen through the liver. Foods that are rich in vitamin B6 involves, fish meat, bell papers, baked potatoes, peanuts, broccoli, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, yams, chicken peas, soybeans and many more.