Breast lumpsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-lumps/MY00165
CLICK TO ENLARGE
|Fibrocystic breast changes|
A breast lump is a growth of tissue that develops within your breast. It may be described as a mass, growth, swelling, thickness or fullness.
A breast lump can vary in the way it looks and feels. If you have a breast lump, you may notice:
- A distinct lump with definite borders
- A thickened, slightly more prominent area in your breast that's different from surrounding breast tissue
- Other breast changes, such as redness, dimpling or pitting of the skin
- One breast that's noticeably larger than the other (breast asymmetry)
- Nipple changes, such as a nipple that's pulled inward (nipple inversion) or spontaneous fluid discharge from your nipple
- Breast pain or tenderness
Sometimes, a breast lump is a sign of breast cancer. That's why you should seek prompt medical evaluation. Fortunately, however, most breast lumps result from noncancerous (benign) conditions.
A breast lump can develop as a result of conditions such as:
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor to have a breast lump evaluated, especially if:
- The breast lump is new or unusual and feels different from surrounding tissue or from tissue in your other breast
- The breast lump doesn't go away or gets bigger after your next menstrual period
- The breast lump changes — gets bigger, firmer or more defined from surrounding breast tissue
- You have bloody, possibly spontaneous, discharge from your nipple
- You notice skin changes on your breast, such as redness, crusting, dimpling or puckering
- Your nipple is turned inward (inverted), although it isn't normally positioned that way
- Non-cancerous breast conditions. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003180-pdf.pdf. Accessed Sept. 20, 2012.
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0986-5..C2009-0-38984-9--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0986-5&about=true&uniqId=236797353-5. Accessed Sept. 20, 2012.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP. Accessed Sept. 20, 2012.
- Sabel MS. Breast masses and other common breast problems. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 20, 2012.