What Should You Do If You Find a Breast Lump?
With the prevalence of breast cancer, finding a lump in your breast can be scary. However, the good news is that not all breast lumps are cancerous. In fact, most women develop lumps due to hormonal changes caused by menstrual periods. These growths are harmless, and they usually go away on their own at the end of the cycle. Nevertheless, if you find a lump in your breast that’s harder or different from normal breast tissue, it’s advisable to have it checked.
Common Causes and Types of Breast Lumps
Knowing the different types of breast lumps can go a long way to dispel any fears about developing a serious condition. Here are the common causes of breast lumps:
- Fibroadenoma: Fibroadenomas are solid, round lumps that commonly develop in women who are 20 to 30 years old. The lumps are generally harmless but require surgery to remove them.
- Simple cysts: Lumps may also form in your breasts because of fibrocystic changes caused by hormonal fluctuations. Essentially, you may develop simple cysts (fluid-filled sacs) before or during your menstrual cycles. These cysts might go away naturally, or your doctor may insert a special needle into the area to extract the fluid.
- Traumatic fat necrosis: Traumatic fat necrosis is a round, firm and painless lump caused by injury to the breast. The lump forms due to fat accumulation in one area. Your doctor will likely need to do a biospy, though, to determine if the lump is due to traumatic fat necrosis.
- Intraductal papillomas: Intraductal papillomas are small warts that form around the nipples or along the mammary duct. These warts can cause bleeding if left untreated. However, they’re harmless and not related to cancer.
When to See a Health Care Provider
If you notice any unusual lumps that are hard and feel different from the rest of your breast, then it’s time you see a health care provider. Other possible signs include:
- A thick lump near the breast or underarm that persists through the menstrual cycle
- Discharge that occurs in only one breast or occurs without squeezing the nipple
- Bloody discharge from your breast (not milky)
- Itchy, scaly sore on the nipple
- A change in skin texture on one breast
- Marble-like area under the skin
Schedule an Appointment With Us
A simple breast lump might seem harmless at first, but it could be a symptom of a more serious condition such as cancer. For this reason, it’s only logical to go in for a screening, as it’ll help detect any condition that might be affecting your breast. If the lump is cancerous, early detection will enable you to get the treatment you need.
The Women’s Center at Colorado Springs Imaging and Envision Imaging provide excellent diagnostic services, ranging from mammograms to ultrasounds. Our highly competent and experienced technologists are always ready to cater to your unique diagnostic healthcare needs.
For more information about our services or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. We’ll respond to your questions as quickly as possible.