What Causes Breast Lumps? How to Check Your Breasts for Lumps

Breast lumps is a swelling or lump in the breast that are either cancerous or non-cancerous. The most common non-cancerous growth is caused by cysts, fibroadenomas and fibrocystic changes. Cancerous growth is caused by malignant tumor or cancer cells that grows uncontrollably in the breast and if left untreated can turn into breast cancers.

• Cysts are fluid-filled sacs within the breast tissue and are not cancerous or harmful. Cysts feel soft and tender and may cause breast pain in the area of the breast lumps. Cysts may grow in size before menstruation and decrease after menstruation.

• Fibroadenomas are solid rounded tumors within the breast tissue and are not cancerous or harmful. This type of tumors is usually painless.

• Fibrocystic changes are caused by the changes in hormone level which result in lumpy breasts in one or both breasts. Fibrocystic changes may also cause breast pain and tenderness just before menstruation.

Other Causes of Breast Lumps May Include the Following

• Mastitis is breast infections that most commonly occur in women who are breastfeeding. The infection is caused by bacteria that enter in the crack of the skin on the nipple caused by injury. The infection may also turn into abscess that grows down into the breast or it may turn into cellulitis where the infection grows beneath the skin.

• Injury to the breast can cause rupture in the blood vessels which causes pool of blood to form in localized area that can turn into lump. This type of lump is non-cancerous.

• Intraductal papilloma is a small non-cancerous tumor that grows in a milk duct of the breast. The cause of this tumor is unknown. The most common symptoms include watery and pink discharge from the nipple.

• Lipoma is slow growing non-cancerous tumor that develops between the underlying skin and muscle layer. The cause of lipoma is unknown. Injury and genetic factors may be the possible cause of this tumor.

Other factors that lead to the development of breast lump may include intake of caffeine from chocolate, coffee, tea, and cola drinks. Some of the diet help to reduce the development of lumps include diet high in fish, chicken, grains and diet low in red meat, salt, and fats.

Types of Treatment

• Cysts are usually treated by inserting a needle into the lump and draining out the fluid.

• Solid tumor is treated with surgery.

• Fibrocystic changes do not require treatment. The pain cause by fibrocystic changes can be treated with medication or by using ice on the breast.

• Cancerous tumor may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy.

• Breast infections are treated with antibiotics.

• Abscess of the breast cannot be treated by antibiotics alone so it has to be drained by a doctor.

• Cellulitis can be treated with antibiotics.

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