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Breast Lump Types

Breast Lump Types

It is not uncommon to see a number of women visit the physicians for lump in their breast. There are different types of breast lump and not all of them are malignant. As a matter of fact, there are more benign lumps as compared to malignant.
Bhakti Satalkar
A lump in the breast is not always the best sign. It is often discovered during self examination. The other name given to breast lump is breast mass. Whenever there is a breast lump, most women do not take it lightly given the widespread awareness about breast cancer. However, at this point itself I would like to bring it to your notice, that lumps are not always caused due to cancer. There are a number of other reasons, which can give rise to breast lumps. The broad classification of types of breast lump is malignant and benign. Each one of them have different causes and the treatment route is naturally different. It is important to note, that the breast tissues undergo a lot of change throughout a woman's life. The most common changes are seen during the menstrual cycle, due to changing levels of hormone estrogen and progesterone. At the same time, injury caused to the chest area can also cause breast lumps.
Overview of Breast Lump Types
Breast lumps may be seen in all age groups. They may be seen in small babies, often caused due to estrogen from the mother passed onto the baby. When the estrogen levels drop down, the lumps normally go away. In some young girls, lumps may appear around their puberty age. These lumps are often tender to touch. Hormonal changes around puberty may cause breast lumps in boys as well. The breast lumps in young men often go away on their own in some time. Having said that, it is always in the best interest to monitor the breast lumps, so that you are well aware of the way the lump appears or disappears. At the same time, you will be able to provide more information to the health care professional about the growth of the lump. Make sure you are also aware of the change in shape of the lumps. If there is particular time, when the lump feels any different, you should make a note of it. Gathering as much information about the lump will help the health care professional to give you the right treatment and get rid of the lump. Having said that, we will now turn towards types of breast lumps in women.
Types of Breast Lumps Location Causes Symptoms Treatment
Cysts These lumps may be situated near the surface or it can also be situated deep inside, closer to the chest wall.
  • It may often appear before the start of the menstrual period and disappear after it.
  • It may be caused due to a dilated milk duct.
  • This lump is often round, smooth and firm.
  • It may be small or large.
  • The surrounding area may be tender.
If the cysts do not go away on their own, then a needle is used to drain the cyst. If the doctor is doubtful, the drained liquid may be sent for further examination. After draining, if the cyst does not reappear in six weeks, then no further treatment is required.
Fibroadenomas These lumps in breast are normally seen near the surface and can be felt easily.
  • They are often caused in the teenage girls or in young women.
  • Breast lumps during pregnancy are often of this type.
  • These are hard, firm, smooth, round and move around rather easily.
  • They are often a rubbery mass, which do not cause pain.
Often times this condition heals on it own. If it does not heal on its own, then surgical removal of the cyst may be required.
Fibrocystic Changes Lumps are felt in both the breasts. They are caused due to hormonal fluctuations before or during the menstrual cycle.
  • Lumps are often present in both the breasts and are breast lumps that hurt.
  • The lumps may grow and become tender just before commencement of the menstrual cycle.
  • In some cases, discharge from nipples is also prominent.
  • The lumps may be hard and rubbery to touch.
  • Often only one big or small lump is seen.
Over the counter pain killer medicines may be taken for treating the condition. In some cases, oral contraceptives may prove to be helpful.
Calcifications They can be formed in any part of the breast. Although they are commonly seen closer to the surface.
  • They are lumps made of calcium, often caused due to aging.
  • Collection of calcium in a dilated milk duct.
  • They are more commonly seen in women above the age of 50.
  • There are multiple number of calcium deposits, which are seen.
The line of treatment will depend on the condition of the patient. The treatment is different for larger and smaller chunks of deposit.
Malignant Tumor These lumps may not be restricted to only one particular area in the breasts. It may be seen near the surface, as much as it can be seen closer to the chest wall. In a number of cases, it may also be seen around the armpit area.
  • Age is one of the factor, which does have a role to play in causing cancer.
  • The other most common cause is heredity. If a mother or grandmother has suffered from cancer, then the chances of the daughter or granddaughter suffering from it are more.
  • Exposure to radiation in life also increases the risk of breast cancer manifold.
  • They normally have irregular shape and pebbly surface.
  • These lumps are normally hard to touch.
  • During breast examination, these lumps do not normally move.
  • Shape of the breast may change and discharge from nipples may be seen.
The treatment for breast cancer depends on spread of cancer. In some cases, surgery is performed for removing the lumps, while if the cancer has spread to the entire breast, then mastectomy may have to be performed. If any surrounding lymph node or tissues are also affected, they may also have to be removed. Other than surgery, there are the options of chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation, etc., which are also used to treat the condition.





When you realize, there is a breast lump, you should not neglect the condition. Immaterial of the breast lump type, it is important that you have yourself examined. Do not self treat the condition or even neglect it at all. At the same time, it is recommended, that every woman does undergo tests to ensure there is no breast lump formation.