Breast Lump

Finding breast lump is relatively common. In most cases it is nothing serious, especially in young women and girls. It is necessary, however, to do at least basic examination to rule out possibility of a serious cause – breast cancer. It was found out that from all women who seek medical examination because of a breast lump; only by 10% breast cancer was diagnosed.

Causes

Breast cysts

Cyst is a fluid-filled cavity. It can occur in virtually any organ and tissue, thus even breast is no exception. A cyst is soft to the touch and it is painless. Cysts occur more in women over 30 years of age with a approaching menopause, but they may be found even in younger women.

Fibroadenomas

Fibroadenomas are benign tumors arising from breast tissue. They are histologically composed of glandular and fibrous tissue components. They are rather rigid and well defined to the touch. Girls and young women are more often affected. Fibroadenomas are removed by a simple surgical procedure.

Lipomas

This is yet another benign tumor that arises from adipose tissue. They are not dangerous.

Abscess

This is a rare cause of lump in the breast that is caused by bacterial infection. Abscesses are cavities containing pus. They are painful to the touch and skin above them may be red and hot. They accompany bacterial inflammations of breasts (so-called mastitis) that are frequent in breast-feeding women.

Breast cancer

Last but really not least, this issue has its own relevant article because of its importance. Malignant tumors of breast are the reason why every visible or palpable change in breast should be reported to a doctor. There is nothing to lose. Treatment of breast cancer is very successful in modern medicine and its discovery in early stages significantly improves the prognosis and treatment outcome.

Diagnostic approach

Breast self-examination is very important. It is simple and every woman should perform it regularly. Regular breast examination by a doctor (usually a gynecologist) was advocated for its importance to primary prevention, but its importance is declining if favor to self-examination. When there is a lump of uncertain origin found, gynecologic examination should be performed and the woman is usually sent to a breast ultrasound or to mammography (depending on her age). To assess histology of such lesion, a fine-needle biopsy can be performed to get a sample for histological evaluation.