- March 26, 2023
- Breast Cancer
Breast Lump – When You Need To Worry About It?
Breast Lump – When You Need To Worry About It?
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer affecting women worldwide. While the majority of breast lumps are non-cancerous, it is important to know when to worry about a breast lump as early detection and treatment can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment.
It is known that Breast cancer is a disease that affects both men and women, although it is much more common in women. According to the British Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 281,550 new cases and 43,600 deaths in 2021 alone. A breast lump is one of the most common symptoms of breast cancer, and it is important to know when to worry about a breast lump and seek medical attention.
In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, including when to worry about a breast lump.
What is breast cancer?
It is a type of cancer that begins in the glandular cells of the breast. The breast is made up of several types of tissue, including glandular tissue (which produces milk), fatty tissue, and connective tissue. Breast cancer can start in any of these types of tissue, but most breast cancers begin in the glandular tissue.
It is usually detected through screening mammograms or when a lump is felt in the breast self-exam. However, not all breast lumps are cancerous, and many breast lumps are benign (non-cancerous). In fact, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 80% of breast lumps are benign.
Breast Lump As A Symptom of Cancer
Breast cancer can cause a variety of signs and symptoms, including the following:
Benign Breast Lump:
The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump or mass in the breast. This can be felt during breast self-exam or by a doctor during a physical examination. While most breast lumps are not cancerous, it is important to have any lump checked by a doctor to rule out breast cancer.
Changes in Breast Size or Shape:
Breast cancer can cause changes in the size or shape of the breast. This can include swelling, thickening, or dimpling of the skin. Changes in the size or shape of the breast should be evaluated by a doctor.
Breast cancer can cause a discharge from the nipple, which may be clear, bloody, or of another color. Nipple discharge can also be caused by other conditions, such as an infection, so it is important to have any discharge evaluated by a doctor.
Nipple Inversion or Retraction:
Commonly Breast cancer can cause the nipple to invert or retract (pull inward). This can occur suddenly or over time. While nipple inversion or retraction can be caused by other conditions, it should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out breast cancer.
It is seen that Breast cancer causes changes in the skin of the breast, such as redness, scaliness, or thickening. These changes may be accompanied by itching or tenderness.
Pain or Tenderness in Breast Lump:
Breast cancer can cause pain or tenderness in the breast, although this is not a common symptom. Pain or tenderness is caused by other conditions as well, such as an infection or injury, but it should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out breast cancer.
Swollen lymph nodes under the arm:
Breast cancer may cause the lymph nodes under the arm to become swollen or tender.
When to Worry About a Breast Lump?
While the majority of breast lumps are not cancerous, it is important to know when to worry about a breast lump. The following factors increase the likelihood that a breast lump is cancerous:
New Breast Lump:
If you notice a new lump in your breast or underarm area, it is important to get it checked out on mammogram. While not all breast lumps are cancerous, a new lump should always be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
Hardness of Breast Lump:
A breast lump that is hard to the touch is more likely to be cancerous than one that is soft.
A breast lump that has an irregular shape is more likely to be cancerous than one that is round or oval.
Fixed in Place:
A breast lump that feels fixed in place (i.e., does not move) is more likely to be cancerous than one that moves around.
Size of Breast Lump:
While the size of a breast lump does not necessarily indicate whether it is cancerous or not, larger lumps are more likely to be cancerous than smaller ones.
Women over the age of 50 are more likely to develop breast cancer than younger women. However, breast cancer can occur at any age, so it is important to get screened regularly.
While breast cancer is not usually painful, it can cause pain in some cases. If you have unexplained breast pain, it is important to get it checked out by a healthcare provider.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, you are at increased risk of developing the disease.
Onco-Radiologist & Medical Research Writer